Libya: Agreement to hold national elections in December 2021 reached
The 75 participants from across the social and political spectrum, including representatives of the internationally Government of National Accord (GNA) and Benghazi-based warlord Khalifa Haftar-controlled Libyan National Army (LNA), reached this agreement at the Tunis Forum, an inclusive intra-Libyan political dialogue platform, said Stephanie Williams, head of the UN Support in Libya, in a virtual press conference.
The forum was launched November 9, 2020 under the auspices of the United Nations shortly after the Libyan parties signed a UN-sponsored permanent ceasefire agreement in Geneva on October 23.
Participants in the six-day forum have reached a preliminary agreement on a roadmap for the preparatory phase towards the national elections, said William, who is also the acting special representative of the UN Secretary General in Libya. The polls should take place on 24 December 2021, she said.
She said that the representatives have started outlining the competencies of a reformed presidency council and a government of national unity.
“Reaching elections requires a new executive to unify the country. This requires the establishment of a reformed presidency council and an effective and unified government of national unity,” Williams said.
Participants in the talks “are taking steps to ensure that the candidates for the selection process are asked to adhere to the principles of inclusivity, transparency, efficiency, pluralism, collegiality, and patriotism,” Williams said.
Libya has been beset since 2011 by power rivalries and foreign interference that have divided the oil-rich African country and turned it into a failed state. Two administrations, the GNA, backed by Qatar and Turkey on one side, and an administration in the east, supported by Egypt, UAE, France and Russia, have been vying for the control of the Maghreb nation.
The two sides have been engaged in several negotiations in a move to end the chaos. The Tunis Forum is part of the UN-backed efforts which also took place in Morocco, Geneva, Egypt and also in Libya.