Executive Summary

Libya remains in flux between violent conflict and dialogue. The notion of peace has the potential to materialize; with the upcoming National Conference, the two major factions have the option to decide on the future of their country. If the disputing sides choose to continue using channels of communications rather than violence, Canada will have a timely opportunity to engage in a Track II initiative that would contribute to the long-term peace process. The aim of this project will be to create transparency, openness, and legitimacy in the event that a democratic process is chosen as the path forward. The political situation remains fragile, with both internal and external interests vying for power and interests, while the UN is sponsoring a National Conference, tasked with allowing disputants to endorse a constitution and put into motion an electoral process. The result of this Conference has the ability to contribute significantly to the long-term stability of Libya. Chief among stabilizing factors is legitimacy, both of the constitution and subsequent elections, which would imply approval of the peace process by major stakeholders and the population at large. Therefore, maximizing participation in the electoral process is integral to the process of democratic legitimation. Given the unstable situation that currently exists in Libya, the proposed Track II initiative’s focus on grassroots projects and changing attitudes aims to impact future election legitimacy provides a cost-effective and long-term response that is congruent with Canada’s international interests.

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