On Monday, the Head of the Operations Department of Libya’s High National Elections Commission (HNEC), Saeed Al-Qasabi, confirmed that the commission would accept the candidacy papers of any Libyan citizen, “whether for the Presidential or Parliamentary elections, as long as the conditions for candidacy, set by the election laws issued by Parliament, are met.”
Al-Qasabi indicated that all candidates are subject to a medical examination by a committee approved by the commission. He also explained that they are committed to implementing the laws issued by the Libyan Parliament.
He pointed out that the right to file appeals against any candidate is guaranteed to all, after the list of candidates is published by the commission.
Al-Qasabi indicated that HNEC maintains a neutral role towards all candidates, both for the Presidential and Legislative elections, and this is an unequivocal principle.
Libya has been mired in civil war since the overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 uprising. The bloodshed has drawn in competing Libyan factions, Islamist groups, as well as regional powers.
Libya’s elections targeted for 24 December were set through a UN-backed roadmap adopted last year. This roadmap also established an interim unity government to take over from rival administrations in the country’s east and west that had been split for years.
Friday’s Paris International Conference on Libya included the leaders of France, Libya, Germany, Italy, and Egypt, as well as the US Vice President. This was intended to cement backing for the planned December polls, and efforts to withdraw foreign forces.
Notably, Saif Al-Islam, a son of former Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi, has formally registered as a candidate in the Presidential elections.