What is the problem?
Libya has been marked by persistent and widespread corruption in the political and economic sectors and in public bodies. Already present under the Gaddafi regime, widespread corruption has intensified throughout the country after 2011. Successive governments have failed to address the issue, which has resulted in poor service provision and lack of public trust in the state and its institutions and agencies. This has been facilitated by the fact that Libya has no law providing access to information and no tradition of public disclosure of information. Without access to information on the work of the institutions, decision making processes, and spending of public funds, citizens and civil society are unable to hold the decision makers to account, reinforcing a sense of disempowerment, mistrust and frustration in Libyan institutions amongst the Libyan population.
Recent reports of allegations of financial bribes offered for the purpose of obtaining political gain in the LPDF took a toll on the political process. These allegations put the credibility of the political dialogue or any future efforts towards peace and stability in the country in jeopardy with potentially dire consequences on future elections.
What you must do about it
Access to information is a key principle of good governance which helps to create a sense of empowerment and trust in institutions. The public is only able genuinely to participate in the democratic process when they have information about the activities and policies of government, and when they are fully informed on the services and benefits to which they are entitled.
As part of the efforts to build sustainable peace, you carry increased responsibility to restore the trust of the Libyan people in Libyan authorities by demonstrating your commitment to transparency and accountability. As indicated in the Roadmap, the overarching objective of the Preparatory Phase is to strengthen political legitimacy through presidential and parliamentary elections. To do so, key priorities you must address include fighting corruption and the squandering of public money, to ensure the good management of public spending and adherence to the principles of financial responsibility and transparency (article 6.6). You also pledged to release your full financial disclosure before taking office but have failed to do so to this day. As such, you must:
- Release your full financial disclosure, as per your commitment;
- Report to the Libyan people on your objectives and the efforts made throughout the whole period leading to the elections to guarantee transparency and free and fair elections;
- Publish monthly updates on the progress made to comply with the Roadmap in the lead up to the elections.