Mostafa Mihraje

The French ambassador to Libya, Mostafa Mihraje, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Libyan elections are necessary for stability in Libya, reiterated France's support for the UN envoy Abdoulaye Bathily's initiative to hold parliamentary and presidential elections by the end of 2023. He added that Paris doesn't have the authority to comment on election candidates and that enabling Libyans to have a unified authority that's elected democratically will provide security and prosperity for Libyans, expressing concerns over Sudan's conflict and its repercussions on Libya. 

Mihraje indicated that France had been working since 2017 to the present day to facilitate a comprehensive dialogue among all Libyan actors in line with the international efforts to hold elections to fulfill the aspirations of the Libyan people. He also expressed his country's support for Bathily's statement about the need to ensure that elections enjoy high levels of integrity and credibility across the country and guaranteeing that all candidates are equal and that public funds are not be used for campaign purposes.

The French ambassador indicated that no one has opposed in public statements holding elections, and that concerns about this process can be addressed by ensuring that the electoral competition is fair, and that everyone respects the results of the ballots. He pointed out that the UN envoy actually called for the existence of a code of good conduct, and the need to oblige candidates to sign it.

Regarding the presence of Russia's Wagner Group in Libya, Mihraje said that its presence is "a source of concern in light of its destabilizing actions," referring to his recent participation in the opening of the “Mutaalik” center to promote a culture of disarmament and the integration of fighters into the labor market, which was established in Tripoli within the framework of implementing the memorandum of understanding signed by the Libyan Ministry of Labor and Rehabilitation and the European Union, in partnership with the French embassy.