By Sami Zaptia.
London, 2 August 2021:
Voter registration for Libya’s planned 24 December 2021 elections has been extended for an additional two weeks – ending 17 August.
The revelation was made at a press conference today by Emad Sayeh, the head of the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) held at HNEC’s Media Centre in Tripoli.
Voter registration, which had been opened on 4 July, had closed on 31 July with 348,998 new voters registered. This brought the total registered voters since voter registration was opened in the lead-up to the 2014 elections to 2,689,094. This represents just over 54 percent of eligible voters, out of Libya’s 6.9 million population.
Sayeh said that the voter registration extension came in response to the demands of public opinion and civil society organizations to provide an opportunity for those who did not register or wish to change their previous election centre, and because the registration process witnessed a huge turnout, which reached more than 30 thousand registrations per day.
He also noted several measures had been taken by HNEC to alleviate the pressure on the Support and Assistance Centre (call centre 1441) to allow it to respond to the largest number of calls, especially those related to the disengagement process.
Thanked government for its support
Al-Sayeh thanked the efforts of the Government of National Unity, referring to its issue of resolutions 143 and 170, which allocate an additional amount of money to cover the financing of the 24 December elections and the formation of a Ministerial Committee to support and implement the electoral process.
Support from telecoms, media and NGOs
He also praised the efforts of the telecommunications sector in its various institutions, the response from sector officials, and the efforts of civil society in raising awareness and motivating citizens, and extended special thanks to the activists who dedicated their pages on social media to raise the level of Libyans’ awareness of the importance of participating in the electoral process.
In addition, he praised the efforts of the media in its various media and orientations, for its role in creating a positive atmosphere, and its prominent role in disseminating information and motivating citizens to participate and exercise their right in the upcoming elections.
The government explains it election support
At the press conference, the Minister of State for Communication and Political Affairs, Walid Al-Lafi, head of the Ministerial Election Committee created by the government to support the elections, spoke about the plan to secure the elections.
He said that the Ministry of Interior had prepared a plan to secure 2,000 polling stations with 35,000 security personnel to secure the election centres and operations rooms. It also provided 2,500 vehicles to facilitate the securing of the centres.
Al-Lafi also talked about the establishment of the media centre designated by the Committee to support the electoral process. He spoke about its role in monitoring reports on media content in terms of breaches or errors that appear in the media, violating the controls of impartiality and credibility, and how to reduce these errors and deter their negative impact on the election.
On his part, the Minister of Education, Musa al-Magarief explained his Ministry’s preparations for the success of the expected electoral process by equipping 2,000 polling stations (schools) fully prepared to receive voters to cast their votes on polling day. He also stated that the Ministry of Education is currently preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding with HNEC to coordinate efforts for the success of the upcoming elections.