U.S. calls for de-escalation and respect for Libya’s legal and administrative electoral processes

By Sami Zaptia.

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland has called for de-escalation as Libya’s elections approach  (Photo: U.S. embassy Tripoli).

Tripoli, 1 December 2021:

U.S Ambassador Richard Norland has called for a de-escalation as Libya’s legal and administrative electoral process goes through the process of disqualifying some candidates standing in the presidential elections.

“The United States shares the concerns of Libyans and the international community that armed actors and the risk of violence not be allowed to threaten elections scheduled to start December 24 and the aspirations of millions of Libyans to cast their votes.

We call on all parties to de-escalate tensions and to respect the Libyan-led, legal and administrative electoral processes underway.”

The Ambassador’s statement was backed up by a statement by U.S. Africa Command. ‘‘U.S Africa Command supports Ambassador Norland’d diplomatic efforts to ensure Libya holds democratic elections on December 24 as a key step towards stabilization and national reconciliation.’’

The statements came as armed militias/security forces surrounded the court in Sebha where Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi was appealing his disqualification by Libya’s High National Elections Commission (HNEC).

The armed groups are said to be aligned to Khalifa Hafter. Hafter and Saif would be competing for roughly the same group of supporters if they were both able to stand in the election. The disqualification of one would increase, relatively, the likelihood of the success of the other.

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