STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Libya far from ready to hold elections: Human Rights Watch

UN special envoy Ghassan Salame has submitted an action plan to stabilise Libya centred on holding legislative and presidential elections this year.

Published: 21st March 2018 08:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2018 08:31 PM   |  A+A-

UN special envoy Ghassan Salame has submitted an action plan to stabilise Libya centred on holding legislative and presidential elections this year. (File | AP)

By AFP

TRIPOLI: Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that Libya is far from ready in political, judicial or security terms to hold free and fair elections as sought by the United Nations.

UN special envoy Ghassan Salame has submitted an action plan to stabilise Libya centred on holding legislative and presidential elections this year.

However, "for elections to be free and fair, they need to be held in an environment free of coercion, discrimination, or intimidation of voters, candidates, and political parties," HRW said.

A 2015 UN-brokered deal that saw the establishment of a Government of National Accord (GNA) was meant to overturn years of chaos that followed the ouster of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 revolt.

But Libya has remained mired in violent turmoil as the country is riven by divisions between the GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar in the east.

"Libya today couldn’t be further away from respect for the rule of law and human rights, let alone from acceptable conditions for free elections," said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East and North Africa director of the New York-based HRW.

"The authorities need to be able to guarantee freedom of assembly, association and speech to anyone participating in the elections," said Goldstein.

The rights watchdog said that "restrictive laws have undermined freedom of speech and association in Libya, and armed groups have intimidated, harassed, threatened, physically attacked, and arbitrarily detained journalists, political activists, and human rights defenders".

"The legal framework for holding elections remains opaque," according to HRW.

After his rise to power in a 1969 military coup, Kadhafi banned elections and abolished the Libyan constitution. Following his fall, legislative polls were organised in 2012 and 2014.

Out of a population of six million, 2.4 million Libyan voters have so far been registered. A new constitution has to be put to a referendum and an electoral law adopted before polling.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp