Britain announced its support on Friday for the United Nations (UN) envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, to call on the country’s leaders to agree to hold elections.
The British Embassy in Tripoli tweeted: “The UK supports SRSG Bathily’s plan to convene Libyan stakeholders to agree next steps for free + fair elections. Libyans deserve certainty and faith in their institutions. Those in power must compromise: conditions for elections must be agreed by all and the results respected.”
On Thursday, the US Embassy in Tripoli called on Libyan leaders to deal positively with the new UN proposal to hold elections in 2023.
In a series of tweets, it added that the UN proposal: “For an elections-enabling mechanism is galvanising the Libyan body politic and will build on progress made between the HoR and HSC on the legal basis for elections.”
According to a previous UN initiative, the House of Representatives (HoR) and the High Council of State (HSC) have negotiated for about a year to agree on a constitutional plan leading to elections that will end the political crisis.
The crisis lies in a conflict between a government mandated by the HoR headed by Fathi Bashagha and the national unity government headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who refuses to hand over power other than to a government that comes through a newly elected parliament.
These negotiations are encountering major obstacles due to the disagreement over the conditions for running for the presidential elections, including the candidacy of the military and dual nationals.
After setbacks that led to a political stalemate in resolving the Libyan crisis, during a briefing to the UN Security Council on 27 February, Bathily launched a new initiative to hold elections this year.
According to Bathily, a high-level guidance committee will be established in Libya, facilitating the adoption of a legal framework and a binding timetable for holding the elections in 2023, in addition to agreeing on requirements, including securing the elections and adopting a code of honour for candidates.