27/November/2020 – As part of its efforts to support democratic governance in Libya, electoral experts from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) held between 20 to 24 November a series of high-level meetings in-person with the High National Elections Commission (HNEC). The meetings were an opportunity to discuss strategic planning and the required technical preparations to hold national elections on 24 December 2021, as agreed by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Tunis on 9-15 November. The discussions between UNDP/UNSMIL electoral experts and the HNEC also elaborated on the potential event of holding a constitutional referendum next year if that would be decided by the concerned institutions.
With funds from the European Union, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, France, and the UK contributing to “Promoting Elections for the People of Libya” (PEPOL) project, an integrated UN team of electoral experts of UNDP and UNSMIL have been supporting Libya’s High National Elections Commission (HNEC) since 2018 to enhance its institutional capacity to prepare for and deliver credible elections in Libya.
The Chairperson of the HNEC, Dr. Emad Al-Sayeh, affirmed that “the Commission is ready to fulfill its mandate and plan and implement national elections in December 2021, and is on standby for a constitutional referendum should the latter be required. However, our readiness is preconditioned by the provision of an enabling security environment and the availability of necessary and timely resources from the government for the required electoral operations”.
From his end, the UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Gerardo Noto, stated that “UNDP along with UNSMIL through the Integrated UN Electoral Team will continue supporting the HNEC to conduct democratic national balloting events which are essential building blocks for an inclusive peacebuilding and political process, through ensuring citizens participation to regain the democratic legitimacy of public institutions in Libya”.
On 24 November 2020, Italy committed funds of euro 850,000 to PEPOL project, while UNDP is also finalizing new funding agreements with Germany and the Netherlands for the project. UNDP confirms that other international partners will be engaged to provide the necessary additional support to PEPOL to help the HNEC organize credible elections. On 23 November, the Libyan Government confirmed the allocation of 50 million Libyan Dinar to the HNEC for the conduction of national elections in December 2021.
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