UNSMIL head Kubis closing remarks to LPDF virtual meeting: ‘‘Political obstructionism to preserve the status quo is not an option and cannot continue.’’
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 28 May 2021:
During his closing remarks yesterday on the final day of the Libyan Political Dialogue’s (LPDF) virtual meeting, UNSMIL head Jan Kubis said he intends to forward to the Libyan parliament (House of Representatives – HoR) and to the High State Council the legal basis and outcome of the LPDF’s deliberations for holding timely 24 December elections.
The full LPDF was meeting virtually to consider the legal basis presented to it by the smaller LPDF Legal Committee. The aim is to hold the 24 December 2021 elections on a constitutional basis in order to take Libya out of its ”interim” phase that it has been bogged down in since the 2011 February 17 revolution that ousted the Qaddafi regime.
A constitutionally based election would lead to a fully empowered parliament and government that would be able to legislate fundamental laws and take fundamental decisions to move Libya forward – hopefully without wide contestability of such laws and decisions.
Kubis said he will make a clear request that the HoR and HSC clarify the constitutional basis and legislation for elections ‘‘within 2, maximum 3 weeks, ideally by 15-20 June.’’
He also revealed that he intends to convene in 3 weeks’ time a physical meeting of the LPDF to continue its oversight and facilitation role for holding the national elections on 24 December.
After Libyan media portrayed some of the interventions (streamed live) by some LPDF members as obstructionists, Kubis stressed in his closing remarks that ‘‘Political obstructionism to preserve the status quo is not an option and cannot continue.’’
Here are his full closing remarks:
‘‘Honorable members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum,
Ladies and Gentlemen, and my dear colleagues who facilitated the session of LPDF,
I would like to thank all of you for your active participation over the past two days during the virtual meeting. Before the watchful eyes of the Libyan public, you have shared your opinions and concerns with frankness and passion.
I would like in particular to thank all of you who heeded our appeal to try and address the outstanding issues of the LC proposal, who tried to narrow and bridge the differences and broaden consensus on the LC proposal.
At the same time, with all due respect to honorable members of the LPDF, and please no offense meant here, sometimes I had the feeling that we are not at an LPDF session but rather a session of the HCS, a session of the HoR. And sometimes instead of focusing on how to achieve the paramount objective of the LPDF Roadmap, it means creating conditions for holding the national elections on 24 December 2021, some interventions introduced issues, as if trying to resolve all the outstanding problems that have accumulated without resolution in the past 10 years.
Yet, the discussion confirmed that there are many points that unite you and that what unites is more than what divides you, as seen by many proposals aspiring to build common ground on the way forward to the 24 December elections.
A large majority of you has expressed the need to end the transitional phase with the holding of elections on 24 December, to give the Libyan people the chance to express their will democratically and to renew the legitimacy of national institutions through the polls. You have all stressed again your commitment to the principles and objectives of the Roadmap that you adopted in November last year in Tunis.
You have also expressed, unanimously, the need to ensure that necessary conditions for the holding of elections are in place to ensure that inclusive, representative, fair, and credible elections can take place in a safe, neutral, and peaceful environment that is inclusive and leaves no one out. This will require a clear plan, one which includes confidence-building measures, security, and national reconciliation. The participation of women, youth, and Libya’s cultural components is critical for the credibility of the electoral process. Inclusive elections will mark an important, if not essential, truly critical step towards long-term reconciliation.
We also took note of your many views on “how” to get to the next phase and end the political transition of the country, of the challenges and risks you have identified in your respective interventions. As many of you put it, the Libyan people cannot afford more delays. Political obstructionism to preserve the status quo is not an option and cannot continue.
Honorable members of the LPDF,
On this basis and in line with Security Council resolution 2570 which places squarely the responsibility on the relevant authorities and institutions of Libya, including the HOR, to clarify the constitutional basis for elections and the enact an electoral legislation I appeal to the HOR, acting in consultation with the HCS, to live up to its responsibilities.
I intend to forward to the House of Representatives and to the High Council of State the basis and outcome of your deliberations as summarized by us. I will do so without delay, with a clear request that they clarify the constitutional basis and legislation for elections within 2, maximum 3 weeks, ideally by 15-20 June.
In the meantime, in line with your Roadmap and with Security Council resolution 2570, and following your calls, I intend to convene in some 3 weeks from now a physical meeting of the LPDF to continue its oversight and facilitation role for holding the national elections on 24 December. In consultation with you, we will identify the appropriate time and venue.
To facilitate your deliberations and decision making, I intend to make some proposals, based on the tested working modalities and arrangements used previously by the LPDF.
The UN and the international community will continue supporting you, supporting the people of Libya, facilitation of your work leading to holding the election on 24 December.
I thank you for your attention’’.
UN Security Council passes two Libya resolutions: reiterates need for constitutionally based 24 December elections, 23 October ceasefire and withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries | (libyaherald.com)