Across the city of Misrata in western Libya, posters are being put up, encouraging citizens to register to vote as well as informing them of their electoral rights. Meanwhile, the Misrata Electoral Council announced that it has opened 15 more electoral centres, bringing the total number of centres across the city to 85. The Council has also been accepting registrations since December. It would appear that the city is ready for the upcoming elections, but with one problem: Nobody in the country really knows when the elections are due to take place.
The topic of elections remains controversial in Libya. The irregularities and controversies surrounding the country’s last elections in 2014 and the subsequent governmental deadlock is among the reasons why the country has two governments today: the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and the House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk. At present, some factions within the Libyan electorate call for the elections to take place as quickly as possible while others suggest delaying the elections until security can be restored in all parts of the country and progress between the GNA and the HoR is made.
Despite the ambiguity and controversies surrounding the elections, the Misrata Electoral Council is keen to ready itself for the elections and register as many people as possible to ensure all demographics are represented. The Council has streamlined some of the process by pre-registering those who have already voted in 2014. Furthermore, volunteers have been distributing informational leaflets across the city.
In addition to ensuring smooth registry for existing voters, the Council is particularly keen on having the first-generation voters to register. This demographic, who would have been between 15 and 17 ages old during the 2014 elections, represent a particularly important milestone. They are, after all, the first generation of voters too young to have been directly involved in the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and even younger to remember the years under his rule.