Libya’s Electoral Commission to open the candidate

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Registration for candidates in Libya’s presidential and parliamentary elections should open in the first half of November, Emad al-Sayah, head of the high national election commissions, said on Sunday.

The registration process should open in mid-November when technical and logistical preparations are completed, al-Sayah added.

Disputes over the constitutional basis for elections, the rules for voting and questions about its credibility have threatened to dissolve the country’s peace process in recent months.

The Commission is tasked with organizing general elections on 24 December in accordance with Libya’s political roadmap approved by the UN-monitored Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.

Libya still faces a number of obstacles before its people can go to the polls, including unresolved issues over the country’s electoral laws, occasional clashes between armed groups and the deep rift that remains between the country’s east and west, separated for nearly seven years by civil war.

Hoping for the presidential election, scheduled for December 24, will announce his candidacies in the coming days and there are signs that some people who became prominent during the war could participate.

Libya’s chief diplomat said the transitional government is working to hold long-awaited elections later this year, but security, political and economic stability are necessary for a peaceful transition to a new government.

Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush spoke to The Associated Press (AP) late Friday in the capital Tripoli, a day after the Libyan government hosted a high-level conference aimed at resolving the country’s most difficult issues ahead of the December elections.

“In order to achieve a peaceful transition, attention must be paid to security and military matters and to driving the wheel of the Libyan economy,” she said.

Mangoush said she hoped the Libyans would accept the result of the vote, which, if passed, would be the country’s first election since 2014.

Mangoush said Thursday’s conference, attended by Western, regional and UN representatives, was a push to implement the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign forces from the oil-rich country before the presidential and parliamentary votes were held.

“The conference has a great and very deep symbolism for all Libyans,” she said, adding that it was “the biggest indication that Libya is recovering.”

Libya has been engulfed in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising overthrew longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.

After months of UN-backed negotiations, an interim government was appointed in February to lead the country to elections. When the countdown to the vote begins, differences between Libyan rivals re-emerge – putting the whole reconciliation process in jeopardy.

In September, Libya’s powerful, East-based putschist General Khalifa Haftar announced that he would step down as leader of the self-proclaimed Libyan army for the next three months – the clearest indication so far that he could run for president. Elections in December. If he were to run, he would be one of the forerunners, but his candidacy would likely provoke controversy in western Libya and Tripoli, the stronghold of his opponents, many of them armed groups with various alliances.

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