Norland: Political and legal obstacles hinder Libya's elections, including list of presidential candidates

Norland: Political and legal obstacles hinder Libya's elections, including list of presidential candidates

December 21, 2021 - 12:29
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Written By: SafaAlharathy

The US Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, has confirmed that obstacles to the electoral process in Libya exist.

Norland told a press conference in Tripoli Monday that obstacles of legal and political grounds, besides the issue with the presidential candidates, require a national decision and a Libyan political will, reiterating his country's support for Libya to move towards elections.

He affirmed Washington's support for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Special Adviser for Libya, Stephanie Williams, in carrying out their tasks towards presidential and parliamentary elections that will pave the way for a unified and stable future for Libya.

Norland explained that during his visit to Tripoli, he met USAID partners in civil society who are engaged in election awareness campaigns.

The US ambassador was accompanied by the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) Head Emad al-Sayeh for a demonstration of how a polling station will work on election day and confirmed the HNEC is technically ready to go ahead with the elections.

Regarding his country's position on postponing the elections, Norland said there are some proposed scenarios, not all of which are ideal, but they may be worked on, and the decision is up to the Libyans. "We believe that the people deserve to have a unified government," he said.

He hinted at sanctions from the US and the international community against any individual or entity that threatens to use violence to disrupt the elections in Libya. "They will be subject to sanctions not only from the United States but from the international community as well."