Elections must take place in Libya in appropriate conditions -- UN chief
United nations, December 24: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday took note of the delay in elections in Libya and stressed the need for the elections to go ahead in appropriate conditions, said his deputy spokesman.
The secretary-general took note of the announcement on Wednesday by the Libyan High National Elections Commission (HNEC) that the first round of the presidential poll, which was scheduled for Dec. 24, will be delayed, said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman, in a statement.
The Libyan parliamentary elections, originally planned to be held also on Dec. 24, had already been postponed to January 2022.
"The secretary-general commends the 2.8 million Libyans who have registered to vote. It is imperative that the will of the people is respected. Presidential and parliamentary elections must take place in Libya in the appropriate conditions to peacefully end the political transition and transfer power to democratically elected institutions," said the statement.
In this regard, the secretary-general took note of the HNEC's recommendation to the House of Representatives and welcomed its continued commitment to the ongoing presidential and parliamentary electoral process, said the statement.
The HNEC on Wednesday proposed to postpone the first round of the presidential election to Jan. 24, 2022, provided that the House of Representatives "takes the necessary measures to lift the state of force majeure that obstructs the electoral process."
The secretary-general's special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, and the UN Support Mission in Libya will continue to support a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process to address outstanding challenges and ensure the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible, said the UN statement.
Williams, in her statement, said the current difficulties should not be used to undermine the political progress in the country.
"The current challenges in the electoral process should in no way be instrumentalized to undermine the stability and progress which has been achieved in Libya over the past 15 months. I strongly urge relevant institutions and all political actors to focus on the electoral process and on creating the political and security conditions to secure the holding of inclusive, free, fair, peaceful and credible elections, whose outcome will be accepted by all parties," he said.
Williams expressed her willingness to work with the concerned Libyan institutions and the broad range of stakeholders to address these challenges through good offices and mediation.
To contribute to the settlement of Libya's political crisis and to durable stability, presidential and parliamentary elections must take place in the appropriate conditions, on a level playing field among all candidates to peacefully end the political transition and transfer power to democratically elected institutions, she said.
Williams said the United Nations welcomes the HNEC's commitment to the ongoing electoral process and to continuing the review of the applications of the candidates for parliamentary elections.
The elections are part of a roadmap adopted by the UN-sponsored Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in February, with the aim to bring stability to Libya, which has been in turmoil since the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.