The December 24 elections come as Libya seeks to turn the page in a decade of violence since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed Gadhafi in 2011.
Libya’s electoral commission announced on Wednesday the rejection of the candidacy of Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.
Seif al-Islam was among 25 of the 98 candidates whose offers were rejected for failure to comply with the provisions of the electoral law.
Unsuccessful applicants were given 48 hours to appeal in court.
On Thursday morning, a “group of outlaws” launched a “heinous” attack on the court in the southern city of Sebha, forcing it to close, just hours before Seif al-Islam was due to appeal, the government said in a statement. . .
It has ordered the interior and justice ministries to investigate the attack.
The attackers forced all staff out of the court building “at gunpoint” hours before the appeal hearing, said Seif al-Islam’s lawyer Khaled al-Zaydi.
“This act is an obstacle to the electoral process,” he said in a video broadcast by Libyan media.
The United Nations mission in Libya, UNSMIL, which has been monitoring efforts to reach a political settlement in the country since a historic ceasefire last year, said it was “alarmed” by the reported attack.
“UNSMIL strongly condemns any form of election-related violence and reiterates that the electoral process must be protected,” he said on Twitter.
The electoral commission had justified its decision based on articles of the electoral law that stipulate that candidates “must not have been convicted of a dishonorable crime” and must present a clean criminal record.
The final list of candidates will be published in early December, once verifications and appeals have been exhausted.
Other contenders still in the running include east-based strongman Khalifa Haftar, Acting Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah and former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.
Presidential and legislative elections were scheduled for December 24, but in early October the parliament divided the voting dates, postponing the legislative elections until January.
The road to the polls has been littered with disputes over the constitutional basis of the polls and the powers that will be given to whoever wins.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
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