UN envoy to Libya stresses need to keep Libyan electoral process moving forward

Yasser Seddiq , Tuesday 4 Jan 2022

Stephanie Williams, the Special Adviser to the UN’s Secretary-General on Libya, stressed in a tweet on Tuesday "the need to keep the electoral process in the country moving forward in order to realise the aspirations of the 2.8m Libyan citizens who registered to vote."

Stephanie Williams
The Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Libya Stephanie Williams meets with the Libyan political actors (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Williams Twitter account).

Williams added that “Libyan political actors presented their proposal for a sequenced approach to the electoral process that stipulates holding the parliamentary elections first.”

She posted her tweet after meeting with the Libyan Presidential Council in Tripoli.

On 6 December, 2021 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed the American diplomat as UN special envoy to Libya following the resignation of UN special envoy to Libya Jan Kubis on 23 November.

Williams had led the talks that resulted in the October 2020 cease-fire deal in Libya, which opened the way for a UN-negotiated settlement between the two rival sides in the country and an agreement to hold general elections to end 10 years of turmoil following the ouster of President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

However, Libya failed to hold the long-awaited presidential and parliamentary elections on the previously agreed upon date on 24 December, 2021 due to disagreements over the legal basis for the vote given procedural delays.

In recent years, the country has been split between rival governments: one, in the eastern city of Tobruk, led by General Khalifa Haftar and a House of Representatives and the other, in the capital Tripoli in the west, led by UN-supported Government of National Accord. Both side have been supported by different militias and foreign powers.

“As part of my continuing consultations with Libyan political actors, I met — together with Raisedon Zenenga, the UNSMIL mission coordinator — with representatives of the National Forces for Change,” the UN envoy to Libya wrote.

Williams added that she held a fruitful joint meeting with the President of the Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Menfi, and Vice Presidents Abdullah Al-Lafi and Mosa Al-Koni in Tripoli.

“We assessed the latest political developments and stressed the importance of consolidating efforts to push the electoral process forward; address existing bottlenecks and embarking on an inclusive and comprehensive national reconciliation process.”

“I reiterated the United Nations’ commitment to providing all the necessary support to the Libyan people and authorities in achieving these critical objectives,” Williams concluded.

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