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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Libya: SRSG Ian Martin Address at the Opening of HNEC Media Center

 UN Support Mission in Libya

Prime Minister and Ministers of the Interim Government,
Members of the National Transitional Council,
Chairman and members of the High National Election Commission,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen

As Special Representative of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon I speak on behalf of the United Nations, and I want to say that it has been a privilege for our electoral experts to offer international experience to the Electoral Committee of the NTC and then to the High National Election Commission.

But this evening, I would like to claim to speak for the international community as a whole, in the presence of representatives of the African Union, the League of Arab States, the European Union and so many Member States of the United Nations, and to say that the international community as a whole supports the holding of this first democratic election in a free Libya.

I want to say to my friends in the international media that one of the misconceptions has been that the short delay in the holding of this election in any way represents a failure on the part of the authorities or the Election Commission. On the contrary, what has happened here is an extraordinary achievement - an extraordinary achievement in building an electoral operation from nothing in an extraordinarily short period.

We have seen the extraordinary success of voter registration, when people from all regions of Libya registered enthusiastically, men and women; and an unprecedented number of candidates, many women candidates amongst them.

One Libyan said to me today that it is a wonderful thing to see - in a country that saw only one face displayed publicly - now thousands of faces displayed in the streets of Libya.

Therefore, I trust that on Saturday Libyans will exercise the right to vote for which so many people have struggled, died or suffered.

The opening of this Media Centre signals the continuing commitment of the Election Commission to be transparent in its operations to the Libyan people and to the public international.

We are looking forward to a peaceful and successful election. You have the united support of the international community in this process.

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