Voter registration began officially in Libya on Wednesday, with the electoral register being updated in time for the expected 2018 parliamentary and presidential elections, despite calls for postponement due to the country’s lack of political accord to organise it.
“This step comes within the framework of raising the readiness of the Commission to shorten the period of time that could be taken by the electoral cycles for the upcoming benefits,” said the head of the High Commission Council, Imad Sayeh. He made his comments during a press conference held in the presence of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Wednesday,.
He added, “The voter register has not been updated since June 2014, according to the website of the Electoral Commission of Libya.”
He stressed that the Commission will seek to involve the largest number of citizens in the electoral process in order to ensure large participation on the day. Around 4 million Libyans are thought to be eligible to vote, but so far only 1.5 million are registered.
The UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, said that there are conditions that must be achieved in order to hold successful elections. He stressed that the elections should solve problems and not to exacerbate them. Salame added that if the elections resulted in failure, more elections would be held.
“The registration process will last for 60 days, and the extension of process can be considered as required,” said Salame.