Libya: presidential election in Libya faces … as due date approaches uncertainty

The voting process in Libya will face significant challenges as the election date draws near, political analysts in the North African country say.

The political divide that followed the technical preparations for the presidential elections in Libya, analysts said, made it a difficult process that failed to go ahead on December 24 as planned.

More than 2.5 million Libyan citizens are expected to vote in the December 24 presidential elections, according to a roadmap established by the United Nations (UN)-sponsored Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.

Libya’s National High Electoral Commission postponed the publication of the official list of candidates which was due to be presented at least 15 days before the December 11 elections, saying it planned to conduct judicial and legal proceedings related to the election.

Libyan legislative elections, initially scheduled for the same day as the presidential poll, have been postponed until January 2022.

After the postponement of the publication of the presidential candidates, the Libyan political scientist Faraj al-Dali believes that the decision to postpone the elections has already been taken and would be revealed in a few days.

“The failure of the Election Commission to publish the final list of candidates would indirectly push for the postponement of the elections,” al-Dali said. Abubakr Mahmoud, a Libyan political analyst, said holding presidential elections on December 24 was no longer possible and that a new date had to be chosen that was acceptable to all parties.

Miloud al-Haj, a Libyan law professor, believes that controversial presidential candidates are a major cause of affecting the chances of holding elections on time.

“Since a number of controversial figures, mainly Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, announced their candidacy for the presidential elections, the electoral process has entered a phase of clear polarization,” al-Haj said.

“I do not think that many Libyans will accept that the son of Muammar Gaddafi returns to power, especially given the legal persecution he is facing both in his country and abroad,” he added.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was overthrown and killed in 2011, announced his candidacy for the presidency in November. However, he faces several legal issues in Libya and abroad.

The International Criminal Court issued a Red Notice against Saif al-Islam Gaddafi for alleged war crimes committed in Libya in 2011. -Xinhua

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