A Libyan MP, Tarek Abu Hissa has accused the United Nations Mission (UNSMIL) of failing to maintain its neutrality, stating that the mission has become a party to the conflict.
In televised remarks, he said that the UN Envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily was “adding poison to honey.”
Abu Hissa expressed his concerns, claiming that, “Bathily has exceeded his mandate.”
“The UN Envoy has lost credibility and neutrality, and is no longer trusted to facilitate dialogue among Libyans, after granting himself powers that go beyond his mandate, to approve or reject electoral laws,” he explained.
Abu Hissa stressed that the political process is a “national affair based on the work of the United Nations.*
He called on “effective political forces to organize a significant forum to evaluate the Mission’s work after 12 years of operation, with the aim of understanding the reality of its actions.”
Last week, several political parties raised concerns about the involvement of 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 politicized issue, requiring national settlement.
A large number of Libyan parties rejected UNSMIL’s interventions, especially from Bathily, regarding the electoral laws finalized by the 6+6 Joint Committee and issued by the 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 emphasized that “the issues that the Mission aims to discuss again, have already been settled in previous discussions, viewing further dialogues as unnecessary and as a violation of Libyan sovereignty.”