On Monday, the Libyan Supreme Council of State (a consultative parliament) expressed its concern over repeated violations and errors that occurred on the official communication platforms of the Electoral Commission.
Earlier on Monday, a statement was published on the commission’s Facebook page stating that the commission rejects Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s candidacy for the presidential elections. Minutes later, the statement was deleted, and officials in the commission said that the statement was false and the page had been hacked.
The council’s spokesman, Mohamed Abdel Nasser, said on Twitter: “The Supreme Council of State expresses its concern about the repeated violations and errors that occurred on the official communication platforms of the High Elections Commission, regarding detailed and important news and circulars.”
He added, “This matter raises doubts about the IHEC’s ability to complete the electoral process in an orderly, fair and transparent manner,” referring to parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for December 24.
On Sunday, the commission announced that it had accepted the nomination papers of Saif al-Islam (49 years old); What sparked popular anger led Monday to the closure of three offices of the commission in Zliten (west), Al-Zawiya (west) and Al-Jabal 1 Gharyan (south of the capital, Tripoli), according to the “February” and “Libya Al-Ahrar” channels (both private).
The rules for holding these elections are still the subject of contention between rival Libyan factions, and the legal status of Saif al-Islam remains controversial, as he is sentenced to death in Libya for “war crimes” and is wanted by the International Criminal Court for “crimes against humanity.”
Saif al-Islam has almost not been seen in public for about 10 years, and he returns to the political front about 10 years after his father was killed by protesters during the revolution of February 17, 2011, which ended his regime (1969-2011).
According to observers, Gaddafi’s son took the step of running, taking advantage of the feeling of some Libyans nostalgia for the country’s “relative stability” during his father’s reign, after a difficult decade that witnessed many political and armed conflicts.
On Sunday, the Office of the Military Prosecutor General demanded, through an official correspondence, the Electoral Commission to suspend the candidacy procedures for Saif al-Islam and retired Major General Khalifa Haftar “until they comply with the investigation,” according to local media.
The commission opened the door for candidacy on November 8, and it will continue until November 22 for the presidential elections, and until December 7 for the parliamentary elections.
This came despite the continuation of disputes over the election laws between the House of Representatives on the one hand, and the Supreme Council of State (a consultative parliament), the unity government and the Presidential Council on the other hand, which threatens to hold the elections on time.
Libyans hope that the elections will contribute to ending the armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country; With the support of Arab and Western countries, mercenaries and foreign fighters, Haftar’s militia fought for years against the former internationally recognized Government of National Accord.