Libya: UN Special Envoy Calls For Urgent End To Fighting As Constitutional Amendment – OpEd


The Libyan National Forces supported the UN Envoy Abdoulaye Bathily’s initiative on a new roadmap for holding parliamentary and presidential elections this year. Bathily’s initiative is in line with the Libyan people’s demands to remove all current political bodies and form a new unified national leadership. The country needs new leaders who can preserve oil revenues, implement the ceasefire agreement, and open the way to oversee elections that international security requires Council Resolution No. 2656.

While the Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah said during a meeting of Arab judicial institutes, “the Government of National Unity (GNU) has sought to serve Libyans and is not preoccupied with political work, and the GNU wants to establish justice and national reconciliation,” In addition, Libya lost justice in previous years, and there was a lot of injustice, which is why his government wants to put the court on the right track. Dbeibah added that the capacity of all components of the judicial authority must be strengthened, so that they can support national reconciliation and make up for the damage, without being affected by political tensions.”

A new phase of the conflict began with the members of the High Council of State voting for a constitutional amendment aimed at providing a basis for national elections, but the voting power was disputed and the United Nations Special Envoy to Libya moved to take charge of the political process, another attempt to find solutions for the elections that are seen as the way to resolve years of conflict. However, a statement was issued rejecting the council’s decision, stating that a sufficient number of members did not attend to vote by law.

Moreover, the leaders of foreign powers have indicated that political changes need to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the High Council of State, under the 2015 agreement that was intended to define a transitional period that would resolve the conflict. At the same time, the Libyan Foreign Minister, Naglaa Al-Mankoush, opened the file on impunity and preserving the rights of the victims, because Libya had asked the Council to send a fact-finding mission. To document violations, by the United Nations Human Rights Council, and to stress the importance of working on the principle of “justice, especially for victims and human rights activists who seek to build a strong state.” A society that respects human rights and is run by a just civil authority.

The UN envoy launch a new initiative to enable elections this year by forming a high-level steering committee in an attempt to break the ongoing stalemate and activate the elections, and that the committee will include representatives of political institutions, other political and tribal leaders, civil society groups, security officials, and others. The Libyan political class is also going through a major legitimacy crisis. This led to the fact that most institutions lost their legitimacy years ago, and Libya needs elections.

Britain confirmed its support for the plan of the UN envoy to Libya to invite the concerned Libyan parties to agree on holding free and fair elections during the year 2023. While the head of the Libyan government appointed by the House of Representatives, Fathi Bashagha, ruled out the departure of foreign forces from Libya before there is an elected Libyan government and legitimacy, he acknowledged that there were Turkish and Russian forces on Libyan soil. These forces must come out when there is an elected and legitimate Libyan government, and when Libya is under external interference, If the international community wants stability for Libya, it must support the government and the Libyan people. His government obtained confidence from the House of Representatives with the support of 53 members, and we find that there is a Libyan consensus To solve the crisis, but there is no international consensus.

There is a conflict between Bashagha and the United Nations, as he is accused the United Nations of standing behind him and preventing him from entering Tripoli, and he said: “It did not recognize my government despite its recommendation from the House of Representatives and the State,” and that the unity government headed by Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba is out of legitimacy. He said, “The international community is behind the survival of the Dabaiba government and the continued support of his government.” And that this external interference led to major problems.

Furthermore, the Media Office of the High Council of State affirmed that the voting session on the 13th constitutional amendment was “legal.” Its statement, in response to the statement of the Council’s rapporteur, who questioned the legality of the session held today for constitutional amendments, said that Chapter Five, Chapter One, entitled The System for Convening Sessions, made it clear that the regular sessions of the Council; Article 55 organized the regular sessions to take place on the first Monday of each month, to begin at ten o’clock, to wait for a quorum for two hours, and to be held the next day with a third of the members. The council emphasized that Article 56 organizes the urgent sessions, which are called for by the president or based on a request signed by fifty members. The emergency session of the constitutional convention is completely legal and complete, and the result of the vote on the thirteenth constitutional amendment ended with the votes of the majority of those present.

Hence, we find that the attempts of the UN envoy to reach a political solution through his plan to advance the political process and pave the way for holding presidential and legislative elections during the year 2023, which he presented to the UN Security Council, is a demand of the international community, but there are voices from within that want the political process to become chaotic. Like Bashagha, who is imagined that he is the owner of a decent government and does not want to give up power and the Parliament wants to remain in power without a constitution.

Prof. Miral Sabry AlAshry

Prof. Miral Sabry AlAshry is Vice Dean at Future University in Egypt (FUE), and Chairwoman of Alumni in the Middle East at DW Deutsche Welle Akademie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *