Following an invitation from the High National Elections Commission (HNEC), The Carter Center launched a limited international election observation mission to Libya on Monday, deploying several teams of observers to monitor and report on the upcoming National General Congress elections.
"The Carter Center welcomes the opportunity to observe these historic elections, the first in Libya in almost 50 years," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. "We hope that our presence will contribute to a peaceful, transparent, and credible electoral process, and will support Libyans' aspirations to build a strong democracy."
Carter Center observers will monitor the remainder of the electoral process leading up to elections scheduled to take place on July 7, 2012. Their assessment will focus on election preparations, campaigning by political entities and candidates, polling and counting, the tabulation of results, and the resolution of any electoral disputes. They will be joined during the immediate election period by additional teams of short-term observers who will visit polling stations in many parts of the country.
In light of security considerations, which prevent deployment of observers in some areas of the country and which restrict their movements in others, the Center's mission will be limited in nature and will not offer a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process. However, observers' findings and analysis will be shared with HNEC and the public in a spirit of cooperation to enhance the quality of future elections.
The Center's assessment of the electoral process will be made against the interim constitutional declaration, Libya's election laws and regulations, and the country's international commitments regarding democratic elections and political participation.
Carter Center observers come from eight countries including Canada, Cyprus, Egypt, Germany, Iraq, Sudan, the United States, and Yemen, and are supported by a Carter Center office in Tripoli that was established in early June. The office includes a core team of experts in election observation, administration, and law. The Carter Center received accreditation from the HNEC and has been welcomed by representatives of the National Transitional Council, political entities, and civil society.
Carter Center core team and observers will meet with representatives of HNEC; political entities and candidates; representatives of civil society, including domestic observation groups; members of the international community; and voters. The Center is nonpartisan and conducts its activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, adopted at the United Nations in 2005. The Center received formal accreditation from the HNEC in May 2012.