UN: Recent Developments Highlight Challenges

While there has been notable progress in Libya’s democratic transition, recent political and security developments have revealed the challenges associated with this process, a senior United Nations envoy told the Security Council on Thursday.

“Given the legacy bequeathed to the Libyan people by the former regime, the process of democratic transition will surely face an array of obstacles requiring long-term responses,” said Tarek Mitri (pictured), the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

“The past few weeks have seen increased political polarisation in the debate over the draft political isolation law, and attempts to openly undermine the authority of the democratically-elected bodies and legitimate institutions of the State,” he added.

A political crisis arose during recent weeks from the controversy over a proposed law on political isolation, proponents of which argue that it is a necessary tool to protect the revolution and ensure that those who corrupted public life in the past are excluded from holding public office.

“While there is strong support for such a law in some quarters, the debate over its adoption has been politically divisive,” noted Mr. Mitri. “In its current form, the draft law contains an extensive list of criteria, many of them based on affiliation, and would apply to a wide range of public office holders at national and local levels, including elected officials and the judiciary. The draft law is also silent on how it is to be implemented.

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