Libyan Parties Urge UN to Support Transparent Elections


57 political parties in Libya have called for decisive action from the United Nations, to organise free, fair, and transparent elections. This request came through a joint letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.

The parties expressed concerns about the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), fearing its shift from a “neutral tool supporting the Libyan people to serving individual interests seeking prolonged power.”

They highlighted the mission’s dwindling momentum and influence, despite modest efforts to resolve Libya’s political crisis. This decline signals dire consequences for the country’s future.

Regarding the UN Security Council’s performance, the parties criticized its decade-long failure to protect Libyan civilians. The letter also referenced the tragedy in Derna, noting its impact on Libyan sentiments due to poor governance by political entities.

Earlier this month, several Libyan 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 its Head, Abdoulaye 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.”