If they want to read all the programs, voters will have to take their troubles patiently. The Election Authority in Libya announced Monday the closing of candidatures for the presidential election in December after receiving, according to media reports, the files of more than 90 candidates. But, if the list is very long, only two women are on it.
The High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) is due to announce this Tuesday the final number of candidates who have submitted their file before publishing under a dozen the names of those whose candidacies have been accepted after examining their file and responding to possible appeals.
Candidacy of Seif al-Islam Gaddafi
Among the most prominent candidates are Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who de facto controls eastern and part of southern Libya, the influential ex-minister of Interior, Fathi Bachagha, and the head of the interim government, Abdelhamid Dbeibah. Laila Ben Khalifa, 46, president and founder of the National Movement party, and Hounayda Al-Mahdi, social science researcher, are the only two female candidates.
For the election of the Head of State scheduled for December 24, the submission of candidacies took place exclusively in three offices of the High Electoral Commission: in Tripoli (west), Benghazi (east) and Sebha (south). With the legislative elections due in January, these elections, the culmination of a laborious political process sponsored by the UN, are supposed to turn the page on a decade of chaos since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011 and end divisions and fratricidal struggles between two rival camps, one in the west of the country and the other in the east.
An uncertain ballot
More than 2.83 million Libyans out of an estimated seven million people have registered to vote. For the international community, the holding of elections is essential to pacify the country. But in a still fragile security context and persistent political differences, including on the electoral calendar, the holding of these polls remains uncertain.