Former UN Envoy Expresses Confidence in Libyan Election Laws

Former UN Envoy Expresses Confidence in Libyan Election Laws
Former United Nations (UN) Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame

Former United Nations (UN) Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, expressed confidence that the election laws will be accepted in the coming months. Speaking with the Swiss government’s TV station on Saturday, he stated that this move would pave the way for the anticipated vote, eagerly awaited by many Libyans. However, he mentioned that the High State Council (HCS) objects to the laws presented to the High National Election Commission (HNEC).

Salame highlighted that the root of Libya’s power fragmentation dates back to 2011, marking what he termed the “point of collapse” from that time. He emphasised that such civil conflicts over power in Libya do not get resolved overnight, but evolve through a cumulative system.

The 6+6 Electoral Law Preparation Committee clarified last Monday that the final versions of the laws for both presidential and national council elections have been forwarded to the HNEC. No changes, additions, or subtractions have been made.

Touching on recent tragedies, Ghassan expressed that the flooding catastrophe and storm have opened Libyans’ eyes to the lack of maintenance, inefficiency, and even indifference of the nation’s leaders towards the citizens’ well-being.

He pointed out the neglect of infrastructure amid internal disputes and foreign interventions. Alarmingly, Ghassan noted, “… just before the Daniel disaster, somewhat conflicting instructions were issued by the authorities.” People were advised to stay at home, resulting in the lack of necessary precautions taken by the public.

Notably, 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 UNSMIL as a hindrance to political solutions in Libya.