Stephanie Williams wants to start new Libyan political deal

Stephanie Williams said Libya’s lawmakers ‘shoulder a great responsibility right now to respect the will of the Libyans’ [source: Getty]

The UN Advisor, Stephanie Williams, said that she had received a positive response from the Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR), Aqila Saleh, as he welcomed the initiative of the UN, adding that the situation now is only a matter of bringing the HoR and High Council of State (HCS) together, and then launching negotiations. Williams expressed her optimism that the conditions will allow for an actual meeting of the HoR and HCS.

The HCS said on Wednesday it was ready to engage in a dialogue with the committee representing the HoR once invited by the UNSMIL .

Williams added in an interview with BBC Arabic that the UN initiative “did not come from Mars, but from the 12th constitutional amendment,” which set in the first stage the formation of a committee of 24 members, but it did not happen because it was supposed to be formed within two weeks of approving the constitutional amendment by the HoR.

“We do not have to go back to square one. We can build on the consensus that was achieved in last January and February. We resorted to another clause in the constitutional amendment, which specifically requires the combination of the two chambers to set a constitutional basis for elections.” Williams explained.

Regarding the possibility of holding elections in 2022, Williams said that setting a date for holding elections in Libya is a decision taken by the Libyan authorities and people, adding that the sooner the HoR and the HCS reach consensus on the constitutional basis, the more realistic the hope of reaching the election stage is.

Speaking about the presence of two governments headed by Dbeibah and Bashagha, Williams said the UN had not adopted and would not adopt a position on recognizing one government or another, stressing that the UN is in contact with both sides, and that the most important message the UN sends is that all parties need to maintain calm on the ground in Libya. She said “I think the message was well received.”

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