UN envoy to Libya welcomes successful voter registration as a ‘milestone’ achievement

Special Representative Ian Martin. UN Photo/Iason Foounten

22 May 2012 – Describing it as a “milestone” achievement, the United Nations envoy to Libya today welcomed the successful conclusion of voter registration ahead of the country’s legislative election scheduled for next month.

“Today’s accomplishment is a major milestone and a source of pride for the Libyan people who endured 42 years of denial of political rights,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ian Martin, in a statement.

Libyans are scheduled to vote for members of a new National Congress in late June.

The North African country’s Higher National Electoral Commission has announced that some 2.7 million people of voting age had enrolled as voters by the end of the registration period yesterday – Mr. Martin said the figure was a reflection of Libyans’ commitment to a democratic transition.

He said he was also encouraged by the high levels of interest political parties had demonstrated in participating in the electoral process.

“This has been a huge challenge and undertaking in terms of logistics and security planning, particularly in the context of Libya’s post-conflict transition and the fact that there has been no electoral experience in over four decades,” the envoy said.

In his statement, He also congratulated residents of the city of Benghazi for participating in the election of their local council leaders in a calm environment.

Clashes between rival groups have been among the challenges facing Libya since the toppling of the regime of Muammar Al-Qadhafi last year – which followed a popular rising similar to the protests in other countries in the Middle East and North Africa – and the establishment of the interim authorities.


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