Libya Government Says Ready For Presidential Polls.
Libya is poised to hold presidential elections on December 24 as planned, the government announced on Sunday.
” We are ready for elections, ” interim Prime Minister Ramadan Abu Jana said after Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeiba announced his candidacy.
” The government has made no effort to support the General Election Commission (HNEC). We have the opportunity to make December 24 a historic day, ” said Abu Jan.
Chaos erupted in Libya following the 2011 NATO- backed uprising in which dictator Muammar al- Gaddafi was ousted and killed.
The December 24 poll was set to help the oil- rich North African nation survive a decade of violence.
However, the process was marred by violent disagreements over the legal basis of the election, their date and acceptance for candidacy, with several controversial figures moving forward.
” No one should withhold this historic term from Libya, and we will not allow anyone to do so, ” Abu Jana said at a news conference in the capital Tripoli, surrounded by several ministers.
He said the transitional executive was ” ready to hand power over to the elected government. “
Interior Minister Khaled Mazen called for presidential elections to be held promptly, saying that despite ” obstacles” , his ministry had ” done its job of protecting and securing polling stations” .
The voting rules- the first time a Libyan head of state has been elected by universal suffrage- stipulate that the commission must publish a list of candidates two weeks after the final court decision and appeal for candidacy.
On December 2, a Libyan court returned Saif al- Islam Gaddafi, the son of slain dictator Muammar al- Gaddafi.
The day before, the Tripoli Court of Appeals had rejected a petition against the nomination of Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeybach, who was tasked with leading the unity government in Tripoli in March and leading the country to presidential and parliamentary elections.
Another major competitor is the leader of the illegal forces in the east, coup general Khalifa Haftar.
The coordinator of the UN mission in Libya, Raised on Zenenga, met with Emad al- Saye, chairman of the election commission, on Saturday to discuss ” the current status and course of the electoral process, ” the UN mission said.
He praised the committee for the progress made in technical preparations but stressed the importance of addressing new political and technical challenges that could hinder progress.
A year of relative peace in Libya following the October 2020 truce between the UN- recognised National Treaty government (GNA) and forces loyal to coup leader General Khalifa Haftar, but analysts warn that violence during elections could easily flare up again.
The election law, signed by parliament speaker Timur Agila Saleh, this September has angered the west of the country as many accuse him of evading protocol and laws in favour of his ally Haftar.
The following month, the east- based House of Representatives announced that the vote for the law, also scheduled for December 24, had been postponed to January.
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