US Urges Libyan Leaders To Unite on Holding Elections

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Deputy Representative of the United States (US) to the United Nations, Richard Mills expressed his grave concern over the situation in Libya. He said that a group of illegal armed figures had spent the last six months making deals to determine who would be in power.

“Saying that the roadmap of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) had ended does not break the political stalemate. Libyan leaders often justify this in order to delay elections to extend their stay in power,” the US official said during his speech before the UN Security Council on Monday.

He urged Libyan leaders to come together and push for elections, “because there are 3 million people in Libya waiting to be allowed to vote in order to choose their representatives in power.”

The US diplomat called on the Security Council to extend the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). “The time has come for this council to extend the mandate of the United Nations mission for a whole year to be effective,” he said.

Notably, Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh and the Head of the High Council of State (HCS), Khaled Al-Mishri are due to hold a meeting in Geneva on 28-29 June to discuss the controversial points regarding the constitution, and the elections. Adviser to the UN Secretary-General, Stephanie Williams said the talks will focus on finalizing transitional measures, and holding elections.

Libya’s Presidential Council (PC) has threatened to use its sovereign power if Saleh and Al-Mishri failed to reach an agreement on the upcoming elections. Tribal leaders urged the PC’s Head Mohamed Al-Mnifi to issue a Presidential decree ending the work of the Parliament and the HCS, and holding Parliamentary and Presidential elections as soon as possible.

Chairman of Libya’s High National Elections Commission (HNEC), Emad Al-Sayeh said earlier that the elections could be held in December 2022 if the two bodies agree on election laws by July.

“The commission will be able to set a date for the polling day in December, if it receives the approved electoral legislation in July. If we do not receive this next month, Libya’s elections will have to be postponed, because we would be unable to hold them at that time, similarly to last year,” Al-Sayeh told Al-Ain news.

The long-awaited Libyan elections were supposed to be held on 24 December 2022. HNEC said that a “force majeure” prevented it from organizing the elections, after political parties failed to reach an agreement.

The Parliament has withdrawn confidence from the Government of National Unity (GNU) led by Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba and appointed Fathi Bashagha to replace him. Dbaiba has since refused to cede power to his rival.