On November 24th, we officially launched our presidential debates project, “Libya Decides”. Watch the summary of our televised press conference held at HNEC , in the presence of all members of the Libyan Commission on Presidential Debates.
It is often said that free and fair elections are the backbone of democracy. But only vibrant debate can breathe life into it. Welcome to Libya Decides.
Electoral debates are considered one of the most important hallmarks of representative governance because they contribute to informing the choices of voters, holding candidates accountable towards citizens, and instilling a culture of dialogue between competing politicians. In this context, the debate program dedicated to the Libyan presidential elections will break new ground.
From Argentina to Australia, from Mexico to Mongolia, from France to Fiji, dozens of countries around the world have successfully implemented electoral debates over the past decades. With this program, we hope Libya will join their ranks. However, Libya Decides will be a unique series of debates designed solely as a service for Libyan voters. We have created a comprehensive program that supports the integrity of the Libyan electoral discourse and ensures equal opportunities for all candidates in order to directly reach voters. Libya Decides' ultimate goal is to support citizens in making an informed choice at the ballot boxes.
Since the organization of the Tunisian presidential debates in 2019, which were broadcast the entire Arab world, citizens across the region have been demanding similar debates in their countries. The debates were widely hailed in Arabic and international media as a success, and reached some 79 percent of the registered voters. The Munathara Initiative, which implemented the debates, will contribute its experience as a technical partner for Libya Decides, hoping to reach even more citizens across the region.
The debates will be editorially fully independent - candidates, political parties, project partners or donors will have absolutely no control over the content of the debate programmes.
The debates will be overseen by the Libyan Presidential Debates Commission, a body created for the sole purpose of ensuring a transparent organization of the debates, in line with international best practices and the all-important principle of equality of opportunity among candidates. All programs will be produced with state-of-the-art production means and available to broadcast freely by any TV or radio channel.
The Libya Decides project will continue its program beyond the elections: Some 100 days after Libya’s president takes office, a program will be broadcast reviewing the new president’s election promises against her or his actions in office.