The official of the High National Elections Commission in Libya said, on Tuesday, that the number of candidates for the presidential elections to be held on December 24 has reached 98 candidates.
A member of the Board of Directors of the Commission, Abdul Hakim Balkhair, told The Eastern Herald that the number of those whose files were initially accepted to run for the presidential elections amounted to 98 candidates.
The Eastern Herald reported that the nomination period for the elections closed on Monday evening.
Among the most prominent candidates nominated are Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Salama Al-Ghweil.
The elections also witnessed the nomination of controversial figures, led by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (son of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi), retired Major General Khalifa Haftar, and Speaker of Parliament Aqila Saleh.
Saif al-Islam returns to the political front in Libya, about 10 years after his father was killed by protesters during the revolution of February 17, 2011, which ended his regime (1969-2011).
Saif al-Islam has not been seen in public for nearly 8 years, and he is the second candidate for the presidential elections. The office of the commission in the capital, Tripoli (west) received the nomination papers of “Abdul Hakim Bayou” as the first file for a presidential candidate, while the former deputy prime minister of the interim government for 2013, Sadiq Abdul Karim. Karim is another presidential candidate.
On Wednesday, the Electoral Commission announced in a statement that “candidacy applications attached to documents related to the legal requirements submitted to the commission do not necessarily mean that the candidate’s application has been accepted.”
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.