By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 April 2021:
The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum’s (LPDF) Legal Committee met yesterday in an effort to break impasse in establishing a legal basis for the planned 24 December 2021 elections.
In his opening remarks to the meeting, UNSMIL head Jan Kubis said:
‘‘It is my pleasure to welcome you to this in-person meeting after many weeks of your steady and intensive work online that reaffirms the continued relevance of the LPDF and its Legal Committee. Proposals which you will formulate in the coming days are of critical importance for the implementation of the objectives of the LPDF Roadmap.
I would like to thank you for your continuous commitment. As members of the LPDF, you have achieved a historical task by charting a path towards the unification of your country, its institutions and authorities, through the designation of a unified interim executive authority, which received the vote of confidence in a unified session of a Parliament that was split for years.
I expect that also through this session you will follow this critical objective and approach and that your decisions will further an inclusive political process, will work for unity and for ending the transition period by paving the way to the parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 December 2021, as you yourself, and the interim executive authority agreed upon. Anything else will fail you and the people of Libya, your commitment to the Roadmap.
Setting the date for national elections was a critical achievement of the LPDF. Through this meeting, you have an opportunity to take another step towards the realization of this important goal, that will enable the Libyan people after many years of hiatus, divisions, and conflict to directly elect the new top institutions of the state through democratic, inclusive, and representative elections. This is what they want, what they deserve. Also, the international community fully supports the holding of the elections on 24 December 2021.
Your role has been clearly defined in the Roadmap and in the Terms of Reference of the Legal Committee, which you have adopted: making proposals and suggesting ideas that would enable clarity on the constitutional basis and electoral framework for the holding of national elections on the agreed date.
Time is of the essence. I am mindful of the statement made by the Chairperson of the HNEC, whereby a constitutional and electoral framework for elections has to be ready by early July for national elections to take place on 24 December. I strongly encourage you to take this important element into consideration.
The new-found unity and continued functioning of the HoR will be critical to fulfill the Parliament’s constitutional responsibilities, including the confirmation of a constitutional basis for the elections, as well as of the necessary electoral laws.
This is a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process. Our role is to facilitate your work and support you in implementing Libyan decisions.
The record of the LPDF has been brilliant in breaking the stalemate, in opening the way towards sustainable peace, unity, stability and sovereignty. It is for you to keep this momentum bearing in mind the hopes, aspirations and expectations of your fellow Libyan citizen. I encourage you to maintain your focus on developing concrete and workable proposals that will enable the holding of elections on 24 December 2021. I call on you to raise above divisions, to remain guided by the sense of patriotism, responsibility and compromise that inspired your work and successes throughout the LPDF process up until now.
I wish you success.’’