Dr. Emad Al-Sayah, HNEC Chairman participated, on Wednesday, June 10th, 2020, in a webinar organized by the United Nations Development Program through a live broadcast, on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on elections and the required responses during conflict contexts, with the participation of an elite of international experts in the electoral field.
During his intervention, Dr. Al-Sayeh talked about the crises surrounding the electoral process in Libya and its relationship to HNEC readiness to conduct the elections. He added: we, in Libya now, face a complex political and security crisis in addition to the pandemic Covid-19, the latter of which is related to the internal environment of the HNEC, given that there are no elections at the current time. He clarified the measures taken by the HNEC to provide safety measures for its staff by working with a minimum number of employees and following a rotating attendance schedule, while working to get a future budget for 2021 to cover for the costs needed to comply with health requirements.
With regards to the political crisis, he said: The HNEC was keen to avoid communication with the conflicting parties as much as possible, in order to avoid sensitivities between the parties and any possible interpretation of communication with one of the parties as being bias towards one side against the other, as well as avoiding media visibility. The work of the HNEC during these circumstances was limited to awareness-raising and the publication of news related to its internal activities.
On the security aspect, Al-Sayeh indicated that the HNEC has adopted new plans to deal with crises and emergencies through capacity building of employees on safety, evacuation procedures and safely keeping documents and equipment.
Dr. Al-Sayeh also talked about the plans of HNEC to enhance its readiness if there would be a call for elections, highlighting the progress made by HNEC in the field of electronic voter registration, and the mechanisms that will be followed in order to raise the awareness of the youth and encourage them to participate, considering that this generation depends heavily on the use of technology, which HNEC will consider when developing plans for communication with this category.
Dr. Al-Sayeh also thanked the organizers of this webinar, which is the fourth of its kind within the series of webinars presented through remote participation technology, in which Mr. Abdullah Ahmadzai of the Independent Electoral Commission of Afghanistan also participated, and Mr. Hamini Maiga from the Electoral Administration of the Republic of Mali; The webinar was moderated by Mrs. Najia Hasheme of the United Nations Development Program.