Libyan Amazigh Demand More Seats in Upcoming Elections


The Head of Libya’s High National Elections Commission (HNEC), Emad Al-Sayeh met with representatives from Amazigh-speaking regions on Monday. The representatives spanned administrative, intellectual, civil, and civic sectors of the Amazigh community.

Al-Sayeh emphasised the political participation rights of all Libyans across cultural and social spectra. During the meeting, the delegation demanded an increase in electoral seats for Amazigh-speaking regions in the upcoming elections.

The session explored these demands from legislative and executive angles, aiming to coordinate with relevant authorities to fulfil them.

Several Libyan political parties have raised concerns about the involvement of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), in the nation’s electoral affairs.

These parties claim that the UNSMIL is obstructing the electoral process, and violating Libya’s sovereignty by interfering in the recently approved electoral laws. This has sparked a discussion on the UN’s role in Libya’s path towards democratic development, and political stability.

UNSMIL has reviewed the Libyan electoral laws, suggesting that the remaining issues need a political settlement through constructive dialogue and goodwill. However, Libyan parties perceive these actions, and the US-backed stance of the Mission as a hindrance to political solutions in Libya.

Disagreements arise from provisions like mandatory second rounds for Presidential elections, and connecting the outcomes of Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Also, the full inclusion of all Libyans, including women and various cultural groups, in a unified government to lead the country to elections is seen as a politicised issue, requiring national settlement.

A large number of Libyan parties rejected UNSMIL’s interventions, especially from its Head, Abdoulaye Bathily regarding the electoral laws finalised by the 6+6 Joint Committee and issued by Libyan Parliament. They believe that the Mission’s insistence on its approach can “disrupt the electoral pathway, prolong political deadlock, and position the UN as an obstacle to Libya’s political process.”

Dr. Aref Al-Nayed, the Head of the Ihya Libya (Reviving Libya), also expressed disappointment in many aspects of the Mission’s statement. He emphasised that “the issues that the Mission aims to discuss again, have already been settled in previous discussions, viewing further dialogues as unnecessary, and a violation of Libyan sovereignty.”