Tripoli, 28 February 2023 (TDI): Abdoulaye Bathily, Special Representative for Libya and head of the United Nation’s (UN) political mission in the country, proposed elections in order to ease the public frustration.

After the 12 years of Arab Spring, the political tensions and conflicts in Libya are still widespread due to the legitimacy crisis.

“The political process remains protracted and falls short of the aspirations of Libyans, who seek to elect their leaders and reinvigorate their political institutions,” he said.

The people of Libya are being impatient and widely questioned the will and desire of political actors to hold inclusive and transparent elections in 2023, as planned.

Perilous Elections and Legitimacy Crisis 

The UN Representative in Libya made several engagements with Libyan actors over recent months and discussed the possibilities of political reforms.

He met with political actors ranging from civil society representatives to tribal leaders to senior national authorities for this purpose.

The Special Representative also met with General Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army. In December 2021, the elections were postponed due to legal disputes and other challenges.

Special Representative Bathily, appointed in September 2022, aimed to help Libyan parties and international partners to agree on a constitutional basis for those elections.

The political class in Libya is facing a legitimacy crisis due to the absence of elections, and people are not viewing state institutions with credibility.

Reconciliation Process 

The stalled process now progressed due to the support of the African Union and the inclusion of local stakeholders.

“Reconciliation is a long-term process that should be inclusive, victim-centered, rights-based, and grounded on transitional justice principles,” Bathily said.

Libya is facing multiple crises since the 2011 ouster of Muammar Gaddafi, who had led the oil-rich nation since 1969, and the UN working there to support a peaceful resolution ever since.