Canada demonstrates support to Libyan elections, calling for balanced participation.
Meeting at Libya’s High National Election Commission (HNEC) yesterday, Canadian Ambassador, Ms. Isabelle Savard and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Mr. Marc-André Franche signed a letter, articulating support to the HNEC to plan and conduct inclusive elections.
“Elections are a consultative process,” explains Canadian Ambassador, Isabelle Savard. “Their purpose is to ensure that leadership represents – and is accountable to – all citizens. So the success of elections depends on their inclusivity.”
At the event, which took place on International Women’s Day, HNEC Chair, Dr. Emad Al-Sayeh welcomed Canadian support to activities to promote and facilitate the participation of women in elections – as voters, candidates, influencers and decision-makers.
Pointing to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Ambassador is emphatic that “Everyone has the right to take part in the governance of their country. Canada supports activities that empower women and enable them to exercise their human rights.”
According to data gathered in 2021, Libyan women are better represented in electoral activities than in previous years, comprising a greater proportion of new voter registrations, candidate nominations, and accredited media and observers. Nonetheless, women remain categorically under-represented, and hold just 14 per cent of Parliamentary seats – well below the global average (25.5%).
Says HNEC Chair, “Drawing on data, experiences and trends in 2021, the Commission is now finding ways to remove obstacles faced by women. All citizens should participate in determining their national future.”
For UNDP, inclusive elections are a top priority. According to the Resident Representative to Libya, “Inclusivity is inextricably linked to peace, national stability, good governance and sustainable economic development.”