Libya to commence registration for election candidates

2021-11-07 17:14:58
Libya to commence registration for election candidates

Electoral authorities in Libya are set to start registration for candidates in elections backed by the United Nations.

In a statement on Sunday, Libya’s High National Elections Commission says it will open registration on Monday for candidates in presidential and parliamentary elections that have been mandated by a United Nations-backed roadmap on December 24.

Registration for presidential election candidates would be open until November 22 and for parliamentary candidates until December 7, the election commission chairman Emad al Sayeh said on Sunday.

Potential candidates include warlord Khalifa Haftar, the commander of eastern-based militia in the civil war; Saif al Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former dictator; the parliament head Aguila Saleh; and a former interior minister, Fathi Bashagha.

Sayeh, who had previously said parliamentary elections would take place within 30 days of the presidential election, said the commission had received amendments to the law from the parliament.

Wrangling over the legal basis for the election, as well as its date and qualifications for candidates, has threatened to derail a peace process that was seen as Libya's best hope in years of ending chronic instability and violence.

The UN peace process also led to the installation of an interim unity government and installed Abdulhamid al Dbeibah as prime minister.

He and others in the government swore not to run in any December election but analysts say he may consider doing so anyway.

An election law proposed by the parliament in September was rejected by the bodies' critics, including other political entities, for breaching some conditions set by the UN road-map.

The law set a first round of the presidential election in December but said the date for parliamentary elections would not be set until January.

Libya has been grappling with unchecked violence since the overthrow of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in an uprising in 2011.

After 2014, two rival seats of power emerged in Libya, and government forces constantly fought rebel militia aiming to overtake territory.

Foreign countries also dispatched troops and mercenaries to the country. The UN said in December last year that there were about 20,000 foreign troops and mercenaries helping the opposing sides in Libya.

Under a UN-backed ceasefire signed in October last year, foreign troops and mercenaries were to pull out of Libya within three months.

Libyan delegates at UN-facilitated talks in Switzerland in February selected an interim executive body to lead Libya until December 20201 elections.

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