Libya Lawmakers Meet as Tensions Rise Over Landmark Election
(Bloomberg) -- Libyan lawmakers met to discuss looming presidential elections as some deputies suggested a wave of alleged violations in the run-up might justify a rescheduling of the vote.
Members of the recently reunified parliament assembled Tuesday in the eastern city of Tobruk, just over two weeks before a vote supposed to be the culmination of UN-backed efforts to end a decade of conflict in the OPEC member that followed the 2011 uprising against Moammar Al Qaddafi.
Election authorities are due to announce the final list of candidates Tuesday. Almost 100 contenders have registered, including interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar and Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, a son of the former ruler wanted by the International Criminal Court. All three have overcome legal challenges to their candidacies.
In a statement before the meeting, 72 parliamentarians asked election authorities to answer questions on allegations including fraud and vote-buying, saying it was seeking to “save the electoral process.”
The bloc wants “to protect Libya’s sovereignty by holding fair elections on Dec. 24 or presenting a new road map in accordance with the constitutional declaration,” it said, presenting an apparent alternative to the vote.
Analysts have long wondered whether the election would go ahead as planned given the tense rivalries between many of the key players in a country that was split between eastern and western administrations from 2014 until this year.
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