Following a decade of war and rifts in Libya, a U.N.-facilitated dialogue led to the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in March 2021. The GNU has been tasked with leading the country toward long-awaited presidential and parliamentary elections commencing this December — elections that are crucial to Libya’s transition and could facilitate further governmental unification, community reconciliation, economic recovery and the basis for rule of law and good governance.
While the GNU has taken significant steps to arrange elections, it still faces numerous challenges related to the presence of external military powers, conflicting interests among Libyan politicians and armed groups, economic and health problems, and sporadic violence. Libyan leaders that view the elections as a means for change in the country and as a path toward a representative political system face complex impediments that require a consultative and inclusive approach that fosters long-term stability and security in Libya.
On November 18, USIP held the third in a series of public discussions with Libyan leaders connected to the elections scheduled in the coming months. These events dove into complex questions regarding efforts to prevent electoral violence, the electoral process itself and leaders’ visions for restoring peace and stability in Libya.
This third event invited Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, who is the chairman of Ihya Libya (Reviving Libya) — a registered political party — and has served as the former ambassador of Libya to the United Arab Emirates and is also the chairman of both Kalam Research & Media and the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies.
Dr. Aref Ali Nayed
Chairman, Ihya Libya
Mike Yaffe, moderator
Vice President, Middle East and North Africa Center, U.S. Institute of Peace