UN Special Envoy for Libya resigns weeks before planned elections | UN News

The resignation of the UN special envoy Jan Kubis was accepted one month before the scheduled presidential election in Libya.

A United Nations spokesperson said on Tuesday that the United Nations Libyan mediator Jan Kubis is leaving his post, less than a year after he took office, and a month before the planned elections in the country.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “regretfully” accepted Kubis’s resignation, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday. When asked when Kubis will leave, Dujarric said: “Mr. Kubis has made it clear that he will not slam the door today.”

He said: “More than anyone, he does not want to destabilize the mission in any way, form, or form.”

“The Secretary-General is looking for a suitable replacement. We fully understand the election schedule and are working as quickly as possible to ensure the continuity of the leadership,” Dugaric said.

Reuters quoted diplomats as reporting that the United Nations informally recommended Nicholas Kay, a senior British diplomat, to succeed him. The 15-member UN Security Council operates by consensus and must approve new appointments.

Kubis is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. He also served as the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon and the United Nations Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Iraq. The Security Council approved the appointment of him as a Libyan mediator in January to replace Ghassan Salame, who resigned in March 2020 due to pressure.

It is not clear why Kubis stepped down. Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Beth reported in the United Nations building in New York that UN officials and Security Council diplomats were shocked that he was leaving at this time.

“The fact that he left a month before the election did raise a lot of questions. Although I have repeatedly urged the United Nations to elaborate on his reasons, we did not get any reasons at all,” Beth said.

“The only thing some diplomats told me was that Kubis was not in good health and was very happy to be able to complete this work in Geneva, but it may not be suitable to complete this work in Tripoli.”

Kubis is headquartered in Geneva, and according to Beth, the United Nations is planning to find a new envoy in Tripoli.

After the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, the long-time NATO-backed ruler in 2011, Libya fell into chaos. In October last year, the two major camps of the Libyan war — the internationally recognized government of national unity and the traitor commander Khalifa Haftar in the Libyan National Army in the east — agreed to a ceasefire.

Last year, the United Nations Political Forum called for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held on December 24 as part of the road map to end the civil war in Libya. However, the dispute over the planned vote could disrupt the peace process.

Nearly 100 candidates have registered to participate in the Libyan presidential elections, including Haftar, Transitional Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Debeba, and former leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif. Islam Gaddafi.

Within a few days, it is expected that a preliminary list of candidates will be announced. After that, the committee will initiate a two-stage appeal process, which will take 12 days before the final list of candidates is announced, Emad al-Sayeh, head of the Senior National Election Commission, told reporters.

The first round of presidential elections is scheduled to be held on December 24, and parliamentary elections have been postponed to January or February. However, the election rules have not yet been agreed.

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