UNSMIL SRSG Praises Successful Conclusion of Voter Registration, Benghazi Vote

23 May 2012

UNSMIL SRSG Praises Successful Conclusion of Voter Registration, Benghazi Vote

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Mr. Ian Martin, welcomes the successful conclusion on 21 May of the voter registration process for the upcoming elections to the National Congress.

"Today's accomplishment is a major milestone and a source of pride for the Libyan people who endured 42 years of denial of political rights," he said.

Hailing the announcement by the Higher National Electoral Commission that 2.7 million people of voting age have registered to cast their ballots, Mr Martin said the figures were a testimony to the commitment of Libyans to their country's democratic transition, and a recognition of their sacrifices in the struggle for freedom and democracy. Mr. Martin is also encouraged by the huge interest on the part of political entities to register for the election, which he said is a further reflection of the Libyans' desire to create a new political environment and culture based on pluralism.

Mr. Martin commends the Higher National Electoral Commission for the hard work and commitment in ensuring a smooth and efficient voter and candidate registration process. He also recognises the Libyan authorities' efforts in providing overall support to this process.

"This has been a huge challenge and undertaking in terms of logistics and security planning, particularly in the context of Libya's post-conflict transition and the fact that there has been no electoral experience in over four decades," the Special Representative of the Secretary General said.

Mr. Martin expresses confidence that the Libyan people will continue to exhibit the same spirit and commitment over the coming weeks in the lead up to Election Day. He stressed that the United Nations will continue to support the Libyan people, reiterating UNSMIL's commitment to assist them in their endeavours to build a new Libya.