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Libya ready to open voter registration | Election Issues

Libya’s High National Elections Commission will open the registration of candidates for the presidential election on Monday.

Libya’s High National Elections Commission will open Monday’s registration for candidates for the presidential and parliamentary elections by a United Nations-backed process on December 24.

The dispute over the legitimacy of the election, as well as the date and the qualifications of the candidates, has threatened to undermine what seemed to be Libya’s best hope for years to end instability and violence.

Expected include Khalifa Haftar, the eastern frontrunner for the civil war; Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of a former prime minister; Speaker of Parliament Aguila Saleh; as well as former interior minister, Fathi Bashagha.

The UN peacekeeping process also led to the establishment of a long-term coalition government and the establishment Abdul Hamid Dbeibah as prime minister. He and others in the government have vowed not to run in the December elections, but experts say they may think so.

The election law passed by parliament in September was rejected by opposition parties, including some political parties, for violating UN-enacted legislation.

The law set the stage for the first round of presidential elections in December but said the date for parliamentary elections would not be known until January.

The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Emad al-Sayeh, who had previously said that parliamentary elections would be held within 30 days of the presidential election, said the commission had received a legislative change in parliament.

Registration for the presidential election will be open until November 22 and for parliamentary candidates until December 7, he said on Sunday.

Al Jazeera’s Libyan correspondent Malik Traina said the commission’s statement was “bold”.

“It certainly does [to be] “Improving the electoral process as planned,” said Traina from Doha.

But there are still unanswered questions, such as law enforcement agencies – one in eastern Libya, and one in western Libya, he said.

“They have to agree with the electoral law to make it happen, which includes who can represent the president, what power the president has,” Traina said.

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