US Envoy Norland: Those Who Incite Violence or Prevent People from Voting Will Pay the Price – Al Marsad

Richard Norland said in an interview with the Libyan News Agency (LAN), that the next stage is the elections in which the Libyans must set their conditions. He stated that the US’s position is to work to ensure the integrity of the electoral process in a way that pushes it to move forward.

The US Envoy and Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, stressed that the integrity of the electoral process was a guarantee for people that there will be good results for Libya, at a time when those who incite violence or prevent people from voting will pay the price. He expressed, however, his understanding on the concerns regarding some candidates for the Presidential elections and the controversy surrounding them.

Norland said that the US supports holding elections without any exclusion and that it was aware of distortion and misinformation efforts using the media space to make the electoral environment more difficult and exploiting it. He pointed out that Washington would support efforts to bring international observers so that they can monitor the electoral process.

Norland indicated that he spoke with the head of the Election Commission (HNEC), Emad al-Sayeh, on the issue of technical preparation, which he said was witnessing steady and professional progress.

He also said he had listened to some candidates who pledged to support the integrity of the electoral process and respect its results. The US Envoy stressed that regardless of the winners and losers, there was agreement that the interest of Libya and the Libyans was to come first, particularly at a time when all sign indicate that this process can move forward.

Regarding securing the electoral process, Norland explained that one of the main tasks of the Government of National Unity (GNU) is to pave the way for successful elections, and that the government and the Ministry of Interior have a great responsibility to secure them. The two bodies are also expected to do something about the electoral centers that are closed.

Norland explained the importance of the presence of international observers before the start of the elections, in addition to monitoring the media space and the actions taken by some to intimidate people and create confusion, and that it was important to alert the public of these dangers.