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Libya: UN launches initiative for elections in 2023

Libya: UN launches initiative for elections in 2023
A man participates in municipal elections in the city of Tarhuna, Libya, on October 22, 2022   -  
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Yousef Murad/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.


The UN envoy for Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, announced on Monday the launch of an "initiative" for the organization of presidential and legislative elections in the country this year.

"I have decided to launch an initiative aimed at enabling the organization and holding of presidential and legislative elections in 2023," the Senegalese told the UN Security Council. "In this regard, I plan to establish a high-level steering panel for Libya".

This panel would be responsible for "facilitating the adoption of a legal framework and a roadmap associated with a timetable for the holding of elections in 2023" and "advancing a consensus around related issues, such as security elections and the adoption of a code of conduct for candidates," he said.

This "mechanism" would bring together "all relevant Libyan actors, including representatives of political institutions, important political figures, tribal leaders, civil society organizations, security actors, women, young people", said indicated the emissary.

Libya has been embroiled in a major political crisis since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.

The country is undermined by divisions between East and West and by foreign interference. Two rival governments are now vying for power, one based in Tripoli - and recognized by the UN -, the other in Sirte (center). The East and part of the South are de facto controlled by Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

A dual presidential and legislative ballot, originally scheduled for December 2021 to stabilize the country, has been postponed indefinitely, due to differences over the legal basis for the elections and the presence of controversial candidates.

"Our mandate is to support the Libyans in their aspiration to obtain a stable country led by authorities who are dedicated to the well-being of the people," said Abdoulaye Bathily.

“And inclusive and transparent national elections in 2023 are a key step in this direction,” he insisted, calling on members of the Security Council to support this move.

He also gave his support to a national reconciliation conference on Libya announced in mid-February by the African Union.

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