On Friday, the head of the Libyan High Council of State, Khaled Al-Mishri, announced that he would not run for office or participate in the parliamentary and presidential elections, pointing to a proposal to postpone them to February 15th.
This came in a televised speech that Al-Mishri broadcast on his Facebook account, coinciding with disagreements over the holding of the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for December 24.
He said: “I will not be part of the electoral process, neither as a candidate or voter, and I refuse to amend some articles of the election laws to allow the nomination of some or to tailor laws to the size of (unnamed) personalities.”
He added, “We will submit a proposal to postpone the elections to February 15th.”
He continued, “The electoral process requires the existence of a constitutional basis and a state of consensus among all political parties, a clean electoral register, an independent body that has the technical and impartial capacity, and the ability to monitor polling stations.”
He explained, “We understand very well the unbridled desire of the Libyans to make change, and we demanded it for a long time and made proposals regarding it, but there was a desire to enter into a state of conflict and defeat instead of reaching consensus, which we completely reject.”
He added, “We all hope to think of consensual solutions, not a desire for predominance, to go to fair elections accepted by all parties before their launch, and to restore the crooked electoral process that has been launched now.”
As of Thursday, 21 personalities submitted requests to the (official) High National Elections Commission to run in the presidential elections, including former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, and Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh.
The Commission scrutinizes the candidates’ data before referring their files to the Public Prosecutor, the Criminal Investigation Department, and the Passports and Nationality Department, to consider their validity, and then announce the preliminary lists to open the door for appeals, before announcing the final lists.
On November 8, the commission opened the door for candidacy, and it will continue until the 22nd of the same month for the presidential elections, and the 7th of December for the parliamentary elections.
The election date is approaching, in light of ongoing disagreements over the electoral 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.