Libyans Abroad: Time To Take Part In Libya’s Democratic Process!

For all Libyans, living inside or outside the country, this month of June brings a significant and very important opportunity to individually participate and partake in our home nation’s democratic process; and, to put forth in motion the much needed change away from the current chaos, confusion and lack of security caused by an ineffective General National Congress (GNC).

The Libyans have learnt from the mistakes of the past and this is their opportunity to check the candidate's CVs and hopefully make the right choice. The international community is also dedicated to helping Libya and to place it on the route of a peaceful democratic process. We have to do our duty to choose the right candidates who can steer our country out of the current turbulence and especially in the short forthcoming vital and precarious transitional period.” (Salem El-Maiar).

The scheduled task is to elect a new entity - the Council of Representatives (CoR) - that will be an interim legislative authority for a transitional period until a new constitution is agreed upon by a referendum. The drawing up of this constitution is currently in the hands of a Constitutional Drafting Assembly which has been allowed as of 20 April, 2014 at least 120 days to complete this unique challenge and to decide on what kind of legal model Libya will uphold for its future years.

For the new CoR, a majoritarian system will be used to appoint 200 members with 32 seats reserved for women. Once appointed, they will automatically replace the current GNC. The candidates listed will be representing themselves and shall not adhere to any political party agendas. They will compete in 75 sub-constituencies. Some of the sub-constituencies will elect only general seats while some will have two races- general and women seats race.  

The right to register and vote is available to all Libyans including those residing outside with thirteen countries enabling the ‘Out of Country Voting’ (OCV) system that includes the United Kingdom; all of this being implemented and overseen by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on behalf of the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) for legality and transparency.

The deadline for OCV registration in the UK is Sunday 15 June and for those who participated in the previous Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) elections will be automatically re-registered. The final voting will take place on 21-22 June, 2014 in London and in Manchester.

If you have doubts about taking part, please read the encouraging message below from the OCV Representative in the UK, Salem El-Maiar, and with reference to the relevant websites.

Message From The OCV Team In the UK

Leading the OCV team in the UK, Salem El-Maiar, said: “We strongly urge all Libyans living in the UK to exercise their national duty and have their say for our beloved Libya. As Libyans living abroad, the initial response we sometimes get is ‘Why should I bother?’ And, who would blame them, especially after the inefficient and ineffective performance by the outgoing GNC.

Our message to them is simply get yourself registered and come on the day to cast your vote. Elections outcome are determined only by those who participate and the would be elected members make important - often life and death - decisions about how our Libyan society will expend its collective resources and the restraints it will place on individual behaviour. We cannot win if we don’t play.

Yesterday's decision by Libya's Supreme Court to declare the election of Ahmed Maetig as prime minister to be unconstitutional defuses the tension across Libya and paves the way towards a peaceful transfer of power. His adherence to the rule of law was regarded by many observers as a brave decision and a sign of respect to the court ruling.

Basic Requirements To Take Part In OCV Registration + FAQs

The basic requirements to take part in the OCV registration and voting, a person must be: a Libyan citizen, be 18 years old on the day of registration, be legally competent, be a holder of a National Number, and, to apply to be included in the Voter Register. The thirteen countries taking part in the OCV system are: United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Canada, Tunisia, Turkey, Qatar, Italy, Ireland, Jordan, Malaysia, Germany and Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

To register simply visit: www.voteabroad.ly. On this site, you can create an account by email and input your National Identification (ID) number. You can choose between London or Manchester.

You can also view the names and the CVs of all the 1,714 candidates putting themselves forward in the 13 electoral centres across Libya at: www.hnec.ly with English translation enabled.

For frequently asked questions: www.voteabroad.ly/faq.

For contacting the OCV UK team: ocvinfouk@iom.int or call 07990002346.