Sanusi Bsaikri

The life of the crisis does not seem short, and the period of conflict is extended and may take a more severe form. Relying on a popular movement that rejects the extension of the crisis and the survival of the current bodies on the scene will be the way to change the direction of the conflict and push for settlement and stability.


The Senegalese, Abdoulaye Batille, was appointed as a special envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Libya after a dispute between members of the Security Council, as they are the ones who have the authority to approve special envoys. The dispute continued for nearly a year after there was no agreement on three candidates for the position who were considered affiliated with the members of the Council who were divided over the Libyan crisis.

Russia had reservations about continuing to assign Stephanie Williams to the mission. It also rejected the British candidate, and no agreement was reached on the Portuguese candidate. The dispute between those who have veto power in the Council gave relief to the African movement, as the African Union put forward several proposals to choose an African figure to assume the position. The Union Secretariat nominated an Algerian diplomat and a second diplomat from Ghana, but the nominations were rejected.

The continuation of the conflict within the Council, which was manifested in the rejection of decisions to extend the mission for a long period and the lack of agreement on the candidates of the conflicting parties, strengthened the fortunes of the Africans. Abdullah Batili, from Senegal, was the alternative to end the division within the Security Council after African diplomacy became active and succeeded in filling the vacuum and bridging the gap between the United States. The United Kingdom is on one side, and Russia is on the other.

Batelli’s approach to the Libyan conflict

Abdullah Batili assumed his position with an approach to containing the conflict between the Libyan parties, which was based on giving an opportunity to the House of Representatives and the Supreme Council of State, which are concerned with the political settlement and reaching elections. This was the focus of his first briefing before the Security Council, in October 2022, in which In it, he stressed that he would urge the two councils to continue their dialogue to accomplish what is required to hold the elections.

In the event that the two councils fail in the task entrusted to them, Batelli creates a body to do what is necessary. This body is called the “High-Level Committee,” which consists of representatives of the Libyan political, social, and societal forces, without talking about its composition in terms of numbers or the way to accomplish its mission.

After Batelli’s second briefing before the Security Council, which was in January 2023, in which he presented his plan to move the political wheel and accomplish the electoral requirements, the Libyan political track witnessed a start after a pause and activity after a stagnation. The two chambers were soon reunited, and it was announced that they agreed on the constitutional rule that establishes the elections, which was called the Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment.

This was followed by an agreement to form a committee consisting of 6 members from each of the two chambers, which was entrusted with the task of drafting laws for presidential and parliamentary elections. Which announced the agreement of its members on the laws, and the third constitutional amendment stipulates that the laws agreed upon by the 6+6 committee become final and irrevocable. However, the disagreement over some of the contents of the committee’s outputs disrupted the laws and brought the path to stagnation again.

What influence does Batelli have on the parties to the Libyan crisis?

It seemed to many that Batelli had succeeded in achieving a breakthrough in the Libyan crisis and was able to drag the Libyan parties to consensus after they had been far from it. An agreement was signed on the thirteenth constitutional amendment, and an agreement was reached on the committee to draw up election laws, and that was in a few months after a stumble and disagreement over these files for nearly The two years.

Observers believe that Batelli was the face of a Western movement and American-European pressure that pushed the parties to the conflict, especially the Eastern Front, which is politically led by the House of Representatives, to achieve progress on the path of settlement and agreeing on the requirements for holding elections. Washington lowered its weight slightly with the arrival of the Director of the Intelligence Service, William Burns, to Libya and his meeting with the most important poles of the conflict in the West and the East, then the Deputy Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf, came.

Their role was clear and their impact was clear in neutralizing those obstructing the political track temporarily, so it took action. The wheel of consensus and agreement was signed on the most important files.

Reasons for faltering path after consensus

As soon as the 6+6 Committee announced the election laws it had agreed upon, two groups formed within the House of Representatives and the Supreme Council of State to reject those laws. The House of Representatives bloc, which included more than 60 members, however, has a regional position regarding the changes agreed upon by the committee members regarding the number of members of the next House of Representatives and the electoral districts that comprise it.

The committee members had agreed that the new House of Representatives would consist of 297 members, an increase of 97 members from the current House. The bloc of representatives that rejects this change, on the pretext that the committee has deviated from its course and exceeded its powers, fears that there will be a change in the weight and direction of the new council at the expense of the representation of their region in it.

It appears that the members of the eastern Libyan are the ones behind this position, and their counterparts in some regions of the country, especially the south, support them in it. The Supreme Council of State bloc started by rejecting the outcomes of the 6+6 Committee and its hardline position regarding the thirteenth constitutional amendment.

This bloc considered that the agreement that occurred between the presidency of the two chambers and those who supported them had its legitimacy challenged, but was invalid, and was not based on the controls governing and regulating the work of the two chambers, and they accused the presidents of the two chambers of involvement in absurd practices that conflict with the Constitutional Declaration.

​The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, was reluctant to issue laws. As he is authorized to do so, he stated his reservations on a number of its provisions, especially the points related to the imposition of two rounds in the presidential elections, even if it is confirmed that one of the candidates won with more than 50% of the votes. He also made reservations on the points related to the conditions for candidacy in the presidential elections, which relate to the abandonment of holders of votes. non-Libyan nationalities before submitting their nomination papers.

This point specifically concerns Khalifa Haftar, as he holds American citizenship in addition to Libyan citizenship. Aguila Saleh had suggested, before the 6+6 Committee began its work, that the candidate for the presidential elections renounce foreign citizenship after winning the presidential elections and before… Oath and assumption of office.

Batelli’s position on the consensuses of the two chambers

In the reactions of the UN Special Envoy to Libya, there was no expression of his satisfaction with the agreement of the House of Representatives and the Supreme Council of State on the thirteenth constitutional amendment. He only indicated that the amendment did not address some important issues directly and ignored controversial issues, nor did it support the outcomes of the committee. 6 plus 6.

He did not even attend the ceremony to announce the election laws in the Moroccan city of Bouznika. In his third briefing to the Security Council, Batelli praised the committee’s outputs but considered them “insufficient to resolve the most contentious issues and enable successful elections”. In his aforementioned briefing, Patelli summarized the reasons for the disagreement over election laws in:

  • Nomination conditions for candidates in the presidential elections.
  • Provisions that provide for a mandatory second round of presidential elections even if a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round.
  • Provisions stipulating that parliamentary elections will not be held if the first round of presidential elections fails.
  • Provisions requiring the formation of a new interim government before holding elections.

In a later statement, the UN Special Envoy stressed the need to take into account the reasons for the dispute over the election laws announced by the committee and urged the two councils to complete the shortcomings and address the shortcomings in the political process.

Patelli’s positions revealed his discomfort with the recent developments, and it seems that he identified with the American/British position, which was reserved on allowing all political parties to run in the elections. Washington and London have reservations about the candidacy of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, as he is wanted by the International Criminal Court.

On the other hand, Batelli did not object to the two councils continuing to negotiate in order to address the differences between the political parties and to rectify the shortcomings in the electoral laws. Rather, he urged them to do so, as previously mentioned, and he did not refer, from near or far, to the alternative path or the high-level committee that he initiated in his second briefing. Before the Security Council.

It seems that the acceleration of events regarding the political track and the continuation of the negotiations that produced the constitutional rule, electoral laws, and the road map forced the international organization concerned with the Libyan issue to wait and watch for the results of this track, and this is what made Batelli confused in dealing with the consensuses of the two councils, even with their turmoil, the ambiguity surrounding them, and the disagreement that took place around them. .


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