UN Special Adviser on Libya warns against return of ISIS

Sami Hegazi
2 Min Read

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Libya Stephanie Williams called on Libya’s political elite this week to stop playing musical chairs to stay in power and focus instead on preparing for the elections.

She also warned of a resurgence of the Islamic State (ISIS) if the country remains divided.

Williams pointed out in an interview with The Guardian Newspaper to the expiration of the mandate granted to the House of Representatives under the elections held more than seven years ago as well as the expiration of the validity of the Supreme Council of State that was elected ten years ago.

“I’m afraid some people may now be maneuvering for more delay,” she said, stressing that “this is ultimately a struggle over assets, power, and money. It is a good reason to hang on.”

She urged the House of Representatives to embark “as quickly as possible on a credible political process” that answers the question posed by nearly three million Libyans: “What happened to our elections?”

“It could have been possible for the council to get the elections back on track and organise an election by June,” she said.

 “Instead, they turned their attention to the game of musical chairs and formed a new government. Before discussing the new government — whose mandate will be unknown — the House of Representatives must set a date for the elections,” she added.

Confirming Libyan’s thirst for elections, Williams said: “Almost 2.5 million people have collected their ballots, and in Benghazi alone, 800 people have applied to run for Parliament.”


“There is a new generation of Libyans who want to exercise their political rights,” she added. “The elections could be part of a broader process of national reconciliation, especially in countries where elections have not been held for a long time and there is an entrenched political elite that has had its noses at the trough for a long time.”

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