Home WORLD AFRICA The Speaker of the Libyan Parliament officially presidential candidate

The Speaker of the Libyan Parliament officially presidential candidate

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I came to the office of the High Electoral Commission (HNEC) in Benghazi to submit the necessary documents for my candidacysaid Mr. Saleh, 77. He called on his compatriots to take part in the ballot massively, according to images transmitted live by the television channel devoted to the elections, Libya Tantakheb.

Two days before the end of the submission of candidatures for the presidential election, 29 people have already submitted their file, in addition to Mr. Saleh, said the HNEC on its site.

Scheduled for December 24, this election – the first for a head of state by universal suffrage in Libya – is the culmination of a laborious political process sponsored by the UN.

More than 2.83 million Libyans out of an estimated 7 million people have registered to vote.

For the international community, the holding of elections – the presidential election followed a month later by legislative elections – is essential to pacify the country, which has the most abundant oil reserves in Africa.

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However, in a fragile security context and persistent political differences, in particular on the electoral calendar, the holding of the polls remains uncertain.

Article 12 of the electoral law is controversial

Mr. Saleh unilaterally ratified in September the text surrounding the presidential election, which seems tailor-made for Marshal Haftar, a decision contested by the authorities based in Tripoli which caused a sharp rise in tensions.

There is a controversy that does not need to be around article 12 of the electoral law, Mr. Saleh reacted in statements to local media.

Article 12 states that any presidential candidate must be suspended from office three months before the ballot so that he does not use public money for electoral propaganda purposes, argued Mr. Saleh.

The legal rules are general and abstract and are not in no case tailor-made for anyone. The proof is that the international community has accepted them., he added.

Mr. Saleh dismissed rumors circulating in Tripoli about possible changes that could be made to the electoral law to allow incumbent figures to run. Such changes could pave the way for a candidacy of Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah.

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A unclear electoral law

There can be no amendments, assured Mr. Saleh, who withdrew from Parliament in September, a few days after Haftar suspended himself from his military duties.

On Friday, demonstrators in Tripoli and Misrata, and on Saturday in Tarhouna, a city sadly known for the dozens of mass graves unearthed since the summer of 2020, denounced this law and the participation in the presidential election of war criminals, allusion to Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, younger son of the ex-dictator Muammar Kadhafi, and to Marshal Haftar.

Interviewed by AFP on Saturday, Claudia Gazzini, an expert on Libya within theInternational Crisis Group, judged predictable postponement of the elections, not because of the demonstrations, but because of this complicated situation around the candidatures for the presidential election.

According to Ms. Gazzini, at the root of all these problems, there is an unclear electoral law, with many contradictions.

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