Taking note of the delay in the proposed elections in Libya, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed the need for the polls to go ahead in appropriate conditions.
The Secretary-General has taken 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 December 24, will be delayed, Xinhua news agency quoted Farhan Haq, Guterres’s deputy spokesman, as saying in a statement.
The Libyan parliamentary elections originally planned to be held also on December 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, Guterres 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 January 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 most notable presidential candidates in the fray include Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi; Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the eastern-based army; Aguila Saleh, the speaker of Parliament; and Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, the incumbent Prime Minister.
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.