On 29th May, France hosted a summit on Libya where the leaders of the main political factions, including the eastern-based commander of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar, the Tripoli-based Prime Minister Fayez Seraj, the President of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Salah Issa, and the President of the High Council of State Khaled al-Mishri came together to discuss the country’s future. These four vital leaders in the war-torn country agreed at the summit to conduct UN-backed parliamentary and presidential elections in Libya on the 10th of December this year.
The French president and the summit’s host Emmanuel Macron was quoted as saying that the agreement between the key leaders had led to clear commitments for the country and an approved calendar for parliamentary and presidential elections. The leaders also agreed that the constitutional basis for elections would be ascertained by the 16th of September and the necessary electoral laws would also be adopted.
The UN special envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, acknowledged that there was a great deal of work to be done in regards to the reconciliation process. Salamé has also called for a ceasefire among all factions to allow for the preparations of the elections.
This agreement could serve as a crucial turning point in the efforts to bringing about reconciliation in Libya, re-building the country and creating peace and stability for the region.
Gender Concerns International believes that conducting successful elections in Libya, resulting in new legitimate and directly elected democratic institutions, could be a key step towards improved peace and stability in the country. The organization has conducted a Gender Election Observation Mission for the landmark 2012 elections, and will work to support a gender-inclusive electoral process for the upcoming elections as well.