Mousa Al-Koni, a member of Libya’s Presidential Council, raised concerns about the council’s diminished functional role, describing it as a “body with symbolic sovereignty, but lacking in executive and legislative powers.”
In his televised remarks, Al-Koni underscored the non-recognition of the government formed by the Libyan Parliament on an international level. He emphasized the urgency for Libyan parties to embrace the initiative put forward by Abdoulaye Bathily, the United Nations Envoy to Libya.
He argued that the focus should be on successful election organization, prioritizing this over new political agreements. This comes in the context of Libya’s ongoing political instability, and the international community’s efforts to support the country’s transition to a stable, democratically elected government.
This statement comes amidst ongoing political struggles in Libya, where the path to stable governance has been fraught with challenges since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011. Libya’s political landscape is marked by division and competing authorities, with the international community’s involvement aimed at facilitating a peaceful transition to a democratic government. The forthcoming elections are seen as crucial for establishing legitimacy, and stability in the country.
Libya’s current political scenario is complex and precarious, reflecting the challenges faced since the 2011 revolution. Twelve years post-revolution, Libya confronts high political tensions and a legitimacy crisis among its leaders.
Bathily noted the protracted political process, and the public’s frustration with the inability to elect leaders and revitalize political institutions. He announced plans to create a mechanism to support crucial elections.
In February 2023, Bathily proposed the formation of a Libyan High-Level Panel for Elections, aimed at enabling the organization and holding of elections within the year. This proposal reflects the widespread impatience among Libyans, who question the willingness of political actors to conduct inclusive and transparent elections.
Libya has grappled with multiple crises since Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow in 2011. The UN has been working towards a peaceful resolution, but the nation faced setbacks with the postponement and later cancellation of elections in December 2021. Bathily’s initiative, following his appointment in September 2022, aims to help Libyan parties, and international partners agree on a constitutional basis for elections.
The proposed high-level steering panel is envisioned to bring together all relevant Libyan stakeholders, to facilitate the adoption of a legal framework and a time-bound roadmap for holding elections. It also aims to provide a platform for consensus on election security and a code of conduct for candidates.
This initiative by Bathily and the call for its support by Al-Koni come at a critical time for Libya. The nation’s journey towards democracy and stability continues to face significant hurdles, with the need for an inclusive political agreement and transparent elections more pressing than ever.