Libya to hold its first-ever presidential debates: Libyan Commission on Presidential Debates
By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 13 November 2021:
Libya will hold its first-ever presidential debates shortly before the upcoming elections, a group of Libyan debate and civil society organizations announced in a joint statement yesterday. The sponsor of the debates is the Libyan Commission on Presidential Debates, which is composed of the Libya Debates Organization, Bawader Organization, the Sebha Debate Club, and the Ehsan Development Organization. The Munathara Initiative, a regional organization, will act as the technical partner for the project.
“We are united in our belief that constructive, inclusive public debate has never been more important than at this critical juncture for our country. Recognizing that no single Libyan institution alone can organize credible candidate debates ahead of the upcoming elections, we hereby form the Libyan Commission on Presidential Debates (LCPD).”, the declaration of the new Commission read.
All current and future LCPD members must publicly commit to principles of democratic, inclusive, and fair debates, to be fully independent from any political stakeholders, and to ultimately strengthen Libyan citizens’ knowledge of candidate positions on key issues before casting their ballots, the statement added.
Under the banner “Libya Decides”, the LCPD will organize the country’s first free, fair, and inclusive presidential debates giving candidates equal opportunity to present their competing visions for the country. The programmes will be televised live through a single, unified feed open to all broadcasters, they explained.
After months of preparation and planning, during which several meetings were held with the Libyan High National Elections Commission (HNEC), a project plan to hold Libya’s first-ever presidential debates was shared with HNEC by the Libya Debates Organization and its technical partner, the Munathara Initiative, at the Commission’s press centre.
The LCPD also published a call for civil society organizations from across Libya to contribute to the project through awareness-raising campaigns. The call is open to all organizations wishing to be a part of the effort, share the Commission’s values and principles, and are able to contribute to the raising awareness around “Libya Decides”.
It must be recalled that it is still is early days since registration for elections has opened and unclear how many candidates are standing for the presidential elections and if indeed Libya’s elections will start on time on 24 December 2021.