Elections: Over 8m people registered to vote in Libya – US envoy

By Oluwaseun Sonde

United Envoy to United Nations on Special Political Affairs, Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis has revealed that more than eight million people have registered to vote while 2.5 million of them have collected their voter cards in Libya.

DeLaurentis who made this known at the UN Security Council Briefing on Monday, said its time to move beyond backroom deals between a small circle of powerful individuals backed by armed groups, carving up spoils and protecting their positions as Libyan people are ready to decide their own future.

A United Nations-led process saw elections scheduled for December 24 last year 2021 for libyan people, but the polls were postponed after months of tensions, including over divisive candidates and a disputed legal framework. 

DeLaurentis said Libyan ownership of the electoral process is foundational. “Libya’s leaders must agree on a path forward that is credible and inclusive and then wholly commit to that path. Those vying to lead Libya must see that the Libyan people will only accept leadership empowered by elections.

“Given that expectation, Libya’s political actors must redouble their efforts to solve the difficult challenges surrounding elections and to do so with urgency. The mechanisms to reach solutions exist. The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum roadmap remains in place”.

He added that all Libya’s leaders need is some courage and a commitment to the security and prosperity of the Libyan people. “We believe the High National Election Commission, which has performed admirably in difficult circumstances, is a credible authority to implement an electoral plan.

“We urge UNSMIL to continue its strong support of HNEC, and we urge Libyan candidates and political groups to cooperate fully with HNEC to ensure electoral regulations are followed. And I want to remind those who would interfere with Libya’s elections or stoke violence that the Security Council may impose sanctions on anyone, Libyan or otherwise who obstructs or undermines elections”.

He called on the Council to target election spoilers to promote accountability. Tangible steps are being taken by Libyan leaders to explore reunification of the Libyan military. And the Central Bank of Libya is moving forward with implementation of a plan to reunify the bank.

We support efforts to unify institutions, enhance transparency, and ensure the equitable distributions of resources among all Libyans. The United States remains encouraged by the steady progress of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission as it implements its comprehensive Action Plan for the withdrawal of armed groups”.

The Envoy said US welcomed the report that UNSMIL ceasefire monitors have begun their work and look forward to the full operationalization of the ceasefire monitoring component. “We call on all states including those on this Council to adhere to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2570 and 2571, and to support the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries.

“Unfortunately, we continue to receive appalling, documented reports of violence and abuses against migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in Libya. Libyan authorities must close illicit detention centers, end arbitrary detention practices, and permit unhindered humanitarian access to affected populations”, he said.

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