Monday, July 22

US Envoy Praises Const’l Amendment, Libyans Skeptical

By: Staff Writer

Tripoli_ As the political crisis deepens in Libya with no light in the end of the tunnel, new efforts by the UN to arrange for holding general elections seem to face many hurdles the least of them the lack of credibality on the part of the United Nations and the deep skepticism on the part of the Libyan people who have been suffering since 2011. Based on previous painful disappointing experiences, they do not believe that a free and fair elections can be held anytime soon.

On Thursday 9 March, Mr. Khaled al-Mishri, Chairman of the High State Council (HSC), held talks today in Tripoli with the US Special Envoy to Libya Ambassador Richard Norland during which they discussed the political process in Libya and the breakthrough that has been made by both the HSC and the Parliament by approving a long awaited 13th constitutional amendment that allows for general elections to be held in the country.  

Norland expressed “appreciation for the HSC’s work on a constitutional basis and emphasized the need for all Libyan institution, including the HSC, intensify efforts in support of the SRSG’S roadmap for elections,” as said in a tweet.

According to al-Mishri’s press office, both men reviewed SRSG Abdoulaye Bathily’s latest briefing to the UN Security Council and the agreement of both the HoR and HSC on the constitutional basis.

Al-Mishri stressed the need for support from all local parties and foreign powers to hold the general elections.

Norland tweeted also that the representatives of France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US were in Libya to express “strong support” for SRSG Bathily’s initiative to secure Libyan leaders’ support for his “roadmap” to elections.

The elements of such roadmap are still to be clarified and made available to Libyan citizens who are, supposedly, the real stakeholders in this whole affair.

There are both skepticism and deep disappointment as far as Libyans are concerned at both the local political actors who seem to delay agreement on holding the elections, and at the international community and the UN officials who are seen as non-interested in solving the Libyan crisis.

The skepticism derives from the false hopes that were spread by world powers and the UN for over a year that the holding of elections on 24 December 2021 would be certain. However, on 22 December, the High National Elections Commission announced that despite being technically prepared, it was unable to meet the 24 December date set by the political roadmap for national elections. 

On 24 December 2021, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the United States issued a joint statement in which they said:

“We take note of the High National Electoral Commission’s (HNEC) statement of 22 December on the postponement of the ballot scheduled on 24 December and its proposal for a new, early date on which to hold those elections. We call on the relevant Libyan authorities to respect the aspirations of the Libyan people for prompt elections by swiftly determining a final date for the polling and issuing the final list of presidential candidates without delay.”

Today, skepticism lies in the fact that there is yet to see a credible roadmap let alone an elections date.

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