24 candidates have so far submitted their candidacies for Libya presidential elections, which are slated for December 24, according to the records of the High National Elections Commission (HNEC).
The candidates include the son of the slain Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam, who submitted his candidacy in Sabha, and the warlord who has been leading wars on legitimacy since 2014, Khalifa Haftar, who submitted his candidacy in Benghazi.
Another controversial figure is the Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Aqila Saleh, who submitted his candidacy in Benghazi on Saturday. Saleh has been the Speaker of the HoR since 2014 and has been backing war and division in the country ever since.
UAE’s man in Libya, Aref Al-Nayed, who was Libya ambassador to Abu Dhabi, also submitted his candidacy, and so did the former Education Minister, Othman Abduljalil and the ex-Minister of Interior, Fathi Bashagha.
Vetting of candidates has already started. The Head of the HNEC Emad Al-Sayeh discussed with the Attorney General Al-Siddiq Al-Sour the efforts to sort out presidential and parliamentary elections candidates’ paperwork, especially the proof of criminal records or felonies by any of the candidates.
Al-Sayeh also reviewed civil registry records of the voters with the Head of the Civil Registry Authority, Mohammed Beltamer, who welcomed cooperation efforts with the HNEC to make sure the electoral process is credible.
The HNEC said it had sent 10 presidential elections’ applications to relevant authorities for detailed validation, including verification by the Attorney General, criminal investigation apparatus, and Passports and Citizenship Authority, as per Law No.1 of 2021 and its amendments, which say presidential candidates must have no criminal records or foreign citizenships.