The United States stated on Wednesday that it supports holding Libyan presidential and parliamentary elections as scheduled on December 24, after a leaked proposal, attributed to the American ambassador, drew controversy over suggesting election delay.
In its first official statement after the proposal controversy, the U.S. Embassy in Libya addressed the latest ministerial meeting of Libya’s neighbouring countries, which took place in Algeria.
“The United States welcomes the outcome of the ministerial meeting of Libya‘s neighbouring countries as an important step in support of regional stability,” the American embassy stated via Twitter.
“The United States also reiterates its call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and fighters from Libya and for holding presidential and parliamentary elections as scheduled on Dec. 24,” it added.
2/2 The United States also reiterates its call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and fighters from #Libya and for holding presidential and parliamentary elections as scheduled on Dec. 24.
— U.S. Embassy – Libya (@USEmbassyLibya) September 1, 2021
Richard Norland, the the U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy to Libya, has reportedly authored a proposal which suggests holding a first round of presidential elections on 24 December, along with parliamentary elections, and then a second and final round on 15 September 2022.
The proposal was publicly denounced by several Libyan political figures. Zahra Langhi, a member of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) described the proposal as “messy” and “disastrous”, and equated it to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“It sounds like Biden’s exit plan from Afghanistan, messy and disastrous,” Langhi tweeted on Monday. “It seems that a stumbling giant in a new multipolar global order is of no use as a strategic partner,” she added. “It’s about time Libyans own their own political process.”
The U.S. envoy has allegedly presented his proposal to the Libyan National Army’s General Commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the U.N. envoy to Libya Jan Kubis, both of whom have rejected delaying the presidential elections.