98 people register to run in the presidential elections in Libya

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Nearly 100 people have applied to run for the Libyan presidential elections next month, an official said on Tuesday.

Abdul Hakim Balkhair, an official with the National High Electoral Commission, said the number of those whose applications were initially accepted to stand for election had reached 98 candidates.

Registration of candidates for the December 24 election closed on Monday.

Applicants’ documents are being checked to verify that they are eligible to appear. In a few days, a first list of candidates will be announced.

After that, the commission will open a two-stage appeal process that will take 12 days before the publication of the final list of candidates, head of the National High Election Commission, Emad al-Sayeh, told reporters.

The putschist General Khalifa Haftar, who leads the eastern-based forces that have carried out attacks against the internationally recognized government; the Speaker of Parliament Aguila Saleh; and Prime Minister Abdul-Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah, who has led a transitional unity government since March, submitted their documents.

Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, the son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Kadhafi, also applied for the presidential election. An arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him in 2011.

Presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya are scheduled to take place on December 24 as part of a UN-sponsored deal struck by political rivals Libya at meetings in Tunisia on November 15, 2020.

The application deadline for those wishing to run for president was November 22. Candidates for parliamentary elections are still open until December 7.

Libyans hope the upcoming elections will help end an armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country for years.

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