The high-level conference on Libya, scheduled for Friday in Paris, will be attended by the French president, US Vice President Kamala Harris and the German chancellor.Libya is preparing for presidential elections on December 24. Two months later, citizens should go to the polls for the legislative elections. In a statement seen by APA on Thursday, Human Rights Watch said that “national elections are absolutely necessary for Libya to emerge from its violent transition after the 2011 uprising that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule.”
To bring the process to fruition, the leaders of some 20 states, including French President Emmanuel Macron, incumbent German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Vice President Kamal Harris as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, are meeting on Friday 12 November in the French capital, Paris.
Ahead of the meeting, the human rights organisation identified key questions: “Can the Libyan authorities guarantee elections free of coercion, discrimination and intimidation of voters, candidates and political parties? As electoral rules may arbitrarily exclude potential voters or candidates, how can the authorities ensure an inclusive vote? Is there a robust security plan for polling stations?
Human Rights Watch also questioned whether “the judicial system is able to deal quickly and fairly with election-related disputes? Can election organisers guarantee that independent observers will have access to polling stations, even in remote areas? Has the High National Electoral Commission organised an independent external audit of the voter register?
According to the NGO, the upcoming elections are an opportunity for a much-needed rethink in Libya. Therefore, stakeholders at the Paris meeting “should seize this opportunity to ensure that Libyans, when they go to vote, will have the best chance to elect their new president and parliament in a freely and fairly.”