Election commission committed to holding inclusive elections

May 26, 2022

26. May. 2022. HNEC, Tripoli (LIBYA) Commissioner, Mrs. Rabab Halab (L), UNDP resident representative Mr Marc-Andre Franche (R)

UNDP Libya/Malek Almoghrabi

26 May 2022, Tripoli (Libya) On the sixth anniversary of its Women’s Support Unit, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) acknowledges the commitment of Libya’s High National Election Commission (HNEC) to holding inclusive elections.

The HNEC is the first Commission in the region to establish a such a unit – specifically tasked to facilitate women’s participation in elections and, ultimately, to realize more proportionate representation in political life and government.

UNDP Libya Resident Representative, Mr. Marc-André Franche explains, “Elections are seen as a landmark on the journey to peace and stability and the only way forward to the ongoing political crisis precisely because they give a voice – and give power – to all people.”

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to take part in governance. To date, however, Libyan women have been consistently under-represented as voters, candidates and in government. Conversely, women who are visible in political life – including candidates and activists – have been subject to character defamation, threat, violence and death. 

“Preparing for elections means preparing an environment in which all people are able to participate in them, and in the activities and discussions surrounding them,” says HNEC Chair, Dr. Emad Al-Sayeh.

Since its establishment in 2016, the Women’s Support Unit has taken a lead role in advocating inclusive participation in elections; reducing practical impediments to women; and raising awareness of issues – such as online hate speech and violence against women.

As part of today’s celebrations, the HNEC has collaborated with Libya post to release a national postage stamp. Explains Commissioner, Mrs. Rabab Halab, “The stamp is a reminder that elections are for everybody.” It is the first in what is intended to be an annual series of commemorative, awareness-raising stamps. 


International Electoral Support

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project, Promoting Elections for the People of Libya (PEPOL) supports the capacity and preparedness of Libya’s High National Elections Commission (HNEC) to prepare and conduct elections that are credible, transparent and inclusive. PEPOL is implemented by the United Nations Electoral Support Team (UNEST), comprising experts from the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).  The project is supported by Canada, the Czech Republic, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Inclusive Participation and Human Rights

Democratic elections are based on the fundamental belief that all people are equal and have the same right to participate in political decision-making. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), everyone has the right to take part in the government of their country; and to express their will freely, through universal and equal suffrage. Also, according to the Libyan Constitutional Declaration of 2011, Article 6 "Libyans shall be equal before the law. They shall enjoy equal civil and political rights, shall have the same opportunities, and be subject to the same public duties and obligations, without discrimination due to religion, sect, language, wealth, sex, kinship, political opinions, social status, and tribal, provincial or familial affiliation."