UNSMIL urges unification of Libyan electoral authorities for municipal council elections in Libya

27 Jan 2021

UNSMIL urges unification of Libyan electoral authorities for municipal council elections in Libya

As the political process continues to make progress through the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum towards securing the necessary conditions for the holding of national elections on 24 December 2021, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) stresses the importance of the holding of municipal elections, and reiterates its call on the unification of the electoral authorities for municipal council elections in Libya.

UNSMIL urges all stakeholders, institutions and actors involved in municipal elections including the House of Representatives (HoR), to support and facilitate the cooperation among the two electoral entities of Tripoli and Benghazi, as an essential step towards the unification of Libyan institutions.

Since 22 December 2020 council elections have been successfully organised in the municipalities of Hay Alandalus, Gaser Alakhiar, Swani Bin Adam Zliten, Tajoura, Sabratha and Qarabouli under the auspices of the Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE). The democratic process continues with the decision of the CCMCE to re-run elections in Swani Ben Adam, and court rulings to cancel elections in Hay Alandalus and Tajoura, as part of ensuring the integrity of these electoral processes through the existing legal framework.

On 11 January 2021, municipal council elections were also organised in Eastern Libya, for the first time under the auspices of the Benghazi based Central Committee for Municipal Elections in the Al Wahat municipalities of Jalou, Awjela and Ajkherra.

UNSMIL welcomes and support the resumption of second-generation municipal council elections in Libya since March 2019, which are critical to uphold democratic governance at the municipal level. However, UNSMIL is concerned at ongoing parallel activities, including the ad hoc voter registration system used in three eastern municipalities, regarding which the Mission was notified by local stakeholders from Wahat municipalities.

Also, on 20 January, UNSMIL received a letter from the Civil Society Commission under the Libyan interim government, requesting support and contribution in future electoral processes in the East from the Mission, as well as from the international community.

UNSMIL urges the two electoral management bodies to jointly address the issue of the voter register and the use of two different electoral systems as a matter of priority in the larger context of their institutional unification. The two electoral entities should engage in discussions on a technical cooperation to jointly conducting transparent and credible elections across Libya. The electronic registration system that has been built by the CCMCE since 2013 has enabled 130 credible council elections across Libya, including 34 elections in Western and Southern Libya since 2018. These achievements should be preserved, and the two entities are well placed to set the example of institutional unification, overcoming differences and divisions for the benefit of the Libyan people, state-building and democracy.