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MEDIA RELEASE Election in Misrata 20 February 2012
February 20, 2012

MEDIA RELEASE Election in Misrata 20 February 2012


Parliamentary Forum for Democracy Members Cautiously Welcome Libya’s First Multiparty Election Since the 1970s

The Parliamentary Forum for Democracy (PFD) is an international civil organization – made up of current and former members of parliament - dedicated to strengthening democracy and democratic institutions around the world.

“The Misrata election is very important symbolically” said Chairman of the PFD, Lithuanian MP Emanuelis Zingeris.

“Reports so far suggest that this election has gone off reasonably smoothly and fairly, but the real test will come in June when the election for the national assembly will take place. The national assembly will have the job of writing a democratic constitution, after more than 40 years of Gaddafi’s megalomaniac rule” said Chairman Zingeris.

“But that first election will not be the end of the story, real democracy is not just about elections. A free and fair election is just the beginning of the democratisation process, not the end. Civil society must be allowed to flower, and a transparent and accountable government must be put in place. As parliamentarian who has seen democratic transformation in my country, I can say that the establishment of a properly functioning parliament is an integral part of the democratisation process” said Chairman Zingeris.

“The international community must partner with the nascent Libyan civil society to build a free and democratic Libya. I am told that head of the election committee set up to organise the Misrata polls, Mohammed Berween is a politics professor at a Texas university, who flew back to Misrata a few months ago after more than 30 years abroad. NGO’s and democratic nations can share their knowledge with Libya just as Professor Berween has” said Chairman Zingeris.

“All people should have the right to elect their Government, and after Gaddafi’s mad rule let us all work together to ensure that the Libyan people can finally hold that right” said Chairman Zingeris.