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UN Envoy to Libya Stresses Importance of Elections To Achieve Peace, Stability

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Libya Abdoulaye Bathily on Saturday stressed the importance of holding national elections in the country to achieve peace, stability, and prosperity.

Bathily made his remarks during a press conference on the high-level panel for elections.

“Giving the Libyan people the opportunity to choose their leaders through the ballot box is, without doubt, the way towards peace, stability, and prosperity in the country. Elections are needed to restore and rebuild legitimate public institutions that represent and serve the people of Libya,” Bathily said.

“Successive interim arrangements, endless transition governments, legislative bodies whose terms of office have expired are a source of instability which puts the future of this country at risk,” he added.

The UN official also said that the prolongation of this situation will only result in continued economic collapse, political and social turmoil, and increased insecurity, “all of which will ultimately undermine the territorial integrity of Libya and the unity of its people.”

The registration of 2.8 million voters in 2021 on the list of the High National Elections Commission was a clear message which should have been heard by the current leaders of the country at all levels. “The postponement of elections a year ago disappointed the Libyan citizens,” he said.

Bathily also urged all Libyan leaders to “seize this opportunity to commit themselves to this vision and meet the aspirations of their great people”.

Libya failed to hold general elections in December 2021 as previously scheduled due to disagreements over election laws among the Libyan parties.

Earlier in January, Libyan Prime Minister Abdul-Hamed Dbeibah said his government is ready to hold general elections in 2023.

Ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid escalating violence and political division.