Statement from SRSG Abdoulaye Bathily on facilitating an inclusive political process
TRIPOLI, 10 July 2023 - The Security Council, in its resolution 2656 (2022) adopted on 28 October 2022, urged the Libyan institutions and key stakeholders “to agree on a roadmap to deliver elections as soon as possible across the country, on a constitutional and legal basis, through dialogue, compromise and constructive engagement, in a transparent and inclusive manner, aiming at, inter alia, forming a unified Libyan government able to govern across the country and representing the whole people of Libya.” In line with this guidance from the Security Council, I have, in the past several months, engaged all Libyan political and security leaders, relevant institutions, civil society, women and youth, as well as notables, municipalities, political parties, and other parts of Libyan society to discuss how to create a pathway to successful, inclusive and credible elections as soon as possible in a secure environment and on a level playing field.
I have also consistently encouraged the House of Representatives (HoR) and High State Council (HSC) to carry out their responsibility and finalize the constitutional and legal framework for the elections. In this context, UNSMIL assigned a team comprised of electoral, constitutional, and gender experts to provide technical assistance to the 6+6 committee in preparing draft electoral laws.
UNSMIL recognizes the efforts of the 6+6 committee as an important step forward. However, the Mission has pointed out that the draft electoral laws in their current state would not enable successful elections. Further work is needed to make the draft laws implementable by addressing the legal loopholes and technical shortcomings identified by the High National Elections Commission (HNEC). Libyan institutions and key stakeholders also need to reach an inclusive political settlement on the main politically contested issues identified in my briefing to the Security Council on 19 June, such as the eligibility criteria for candidates for the presidential election, the provision for a mandatory second round of the presidential election, and the requirement to establish a new interim government before elections can take place.
In this regard and in line with resolution 2656 (2022), I informed the Security Council of my intention to convene key Libyan institutions and stakeholders, or their trusted representatives, to reach, through inclusive negotiations and compromise, a final settlement on the most contentious issues. In the coming weeks, I will intensify my engagement with the main Libyan institutions as well as political and security leaders to pave the way for these negotiations.
I count on the cooperation of all relevant Libyan institutions and actors as I work with them to find the necessary compromises needed to resolve the politically contested issues and achieve a political settlement that will provide a pathway to successful elections. I also call on the HoR and HSC to cooperate with the HNEC in addressing the identified legal loopholes and technical shortcomings and make the necessary technical amendments to the 6+6 draft laws to render them implementable.
In the meantime, it is imperative that all Libyan stakeholders draw lessons from the pitfalls and mistakes of 2021 and 2022, and refrain from any actions, including unilateral or non-inclusive decisions, that could precipitate a crisis and divert attention from our common goal of enabling successful elections in keeping with the wishes of the Libyan people.