The United Nations has said Libya’s warring sides have agreed to hold nationwide parliamentary and presidential elections in December next year, reported CGTN Africa. The announcement is a sign of progress from the UN-brokered peace talks which is currently underway in Tunisia.
The UN had selected 75 delegates from Libya to take part in the week-long forum at a luxury hotel in Gammarth, just outside the capital of Tunis.
During a virtual press conference on Friday, acting UN envoy Stephanie Williams said participants at the talks in Tunisia have agreed that national elections in Libya will be held on December 24, 2021. The election date holds a symbolic value as it will mark the 70th anniversary since Libya declared independence.
“Reaching elections requires a new executive to unify the country. This requires the establishment of a reformed presidency council and an effective and unified government of national unity,” Williams said.
The ongoing talks in Tunis follow a ceasefire agreed between the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) last month.
Haftar’s Eastern Libya forces launched an offensive in April 2019 to try and capture Tripoli. Hundreds of people have been killed dead and tens of thousands displaced due to the fighting. The two warring sides are supported by local militias, as well as regional and foreign powers.
Williams said the representatives of both the sides have already begun outlining the competencies of a reformed presidency council and a government of national unity.
The UN envoy said the two sides are taking steps to ensure that the candidates for the selection process will adhere to the principles of patriotism, inclusivity, transparency, efficiency, pluralism, and collegiality.
She said the latest round of talks in Tunisia was the best opportunity to end the ongoing civil war in Libya.