UN Offers Mediation To Get Libya Back On Holding Elections

Stephanie Turco Williams

In a newfound move for long-delayed elections in conflict-torn Libya, the UN’s top official has decided to act as a mediator between political rivals, warning against escalation after a parallel government took power.

After a parallel administration took office, Stephanie Williams issued a warning about “escalation.”

“The solution to Libya’s issue does not lay in building competing administrations and perennial transitions,” Williams, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ special adviser on Libya, said in a series of tweets.

Stephanie Williams announced that she has requested the eastern-based House of Representatives and the Tripoli-based High Council of State (HCS) to nominate six delegates each to form a “joint committee dedicated to developing a consensual constitutional framework.”

In addition, Williams urged Libyans to desist from any acts of escalation, intimidation, violence, kidnapping, and provocation.

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So according Williams, just after politicians establish a committee, it would meet on March 15 for two weeks under UN auspices to deliberate on a constitutional framework for elections.

Khalid al-Mishri, the head of the HCS, expressed gratitude for her suggestion, noting that the organization had previously “established a constitutional base last September that may be developed upon to reach a national consensus.”

This development comes after presidential and legislative elections scheduled for December were canceled.

Dbeibah got appointed in February 2021 through a UN-led procedure on the proviso that he oversee the country until December elections.

He has proposed a four-point strategy to hold a parallel parliamentary vote and referendum on constitutional amendments late in June.

He refused to hand over power to anyone other than a democratically elected government.

On Friday, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States expressed concern over recent events, citing “reports of violence, threats of violence, intimidation, and kidnappings.”

In a joint statement, foreign ministers from the 5 nations stressed, “Any dispute on the future of the political process must be settled without resorting to violence.”

Stephanie Williams‘ request comes a day after Libya’s eastern-based parliament sworn in a prime minister in a defiance to interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.

Watchers warn that this action may result in a new divide in Libya.

Also Read: UN Worried Over Libya’s Parliament Move To Install New Gov’t