Libya’s presidential hopefuls petition against PM’s candidacy: Reports

Candidates for Libya’s presidential election have petitioned against the interim prime minister’s bid and a Tripoli court is to examine their request, media reports said Sunday.

Influential former interior minister Fathi Bashagha was among several presidential hopefuls to have filed appeals against premier Abdulhamid Dbeibah’s candidacy, the reports said.

The Tripoli appeals court accepted their petitions and will examine them before giving a ruling.

If it rejects Dbeibah’s bid, he will have 72 hours to appeal, according to the reports.

A source close to Bashagha told AFP the court would look specifically into complaints that Dbeibah did not resign his post three months before submitting his candidacy, in accordance with Libya’s electoral law.

The December 24 polls come as part of a push to end a decade of violence in oil-rich Libya following a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

Libya’s electoral commission HNEC said earlier this month it had rejected the candidacy of Kadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam Kadhafi.

He was among 25 candidates rejected on legal grounds as well as based on information from officials, including the public prosecutor, it said.

For Seif al-Islam, the HNEC pointed to articles of the electoral law stipulating that candidates “must not have been sentenced for a dishonorable crime” and must present a clean criminal record.

Seif al-Islam is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes committed during the Libyan uprising.

He was also sentenced to death by a Tripoli court for crimes committed during the revolt that toppled his father, but later pardoned by a rival administration in eastern Libya.

A total of 98 candidates, including two women, had registered for the December polls, according to the HNEC.

Among the most notable hopefuls is Khalifa Haftar, leader of the self-styled Libyan National Army in control of the country’s east and parts of the south.

Dbeibah, 62, had promised during talks with the UN that he would not stand in the presidential polls.

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