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UN Pushes for Libya Elections

FILE - The United Nations logo is seen inside the United Nations headquarters in New York City on September 20, 2022.

The United Nations envoy to Libya Monday announced a push for the North African nation to have its presidential and legislative elections later this year.

Analysts report that elections in Libya were originally scheduled for December 2021, but were postponed indefinitely due to differences over controversial candidates and rules for participation.

Abdoulaye Bitali, the UN’s envoy to the North African nation recently addressed the UN Security Council where he announced that he would launch an initiative focused on enabling the organization and holding of presidential and legislative elections in 2023.

“In this regard, I plan to establish a high-level steering panel for Libya,” said Bitali.

The Senegalese envoy also said the panel would be tasked with establishing a roadmap for the elections.

“The panel would be responsible for facilitating ‘the legal framework and time-bound roadmap’ for elections as well as working to ‘advance consensus’ on security and a code of conduct for candidates,” he said.

“The mechanism would bring together ‘institutions, important political figures, tribal leaders, civil society organizations, security actors, women (and) young people,” added Bitali.

Libya has been embroiled in a protracted civil war since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi’s regime in 2011.

Since March last year, an administration in Libya’s east backed by military leader Khalifa Haftar has challenged the UN-recognized government of Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, arguing it outlived its mandate.