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Libya: UN denounces attack on court before national vote

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UN mission in Libya condemns gunmen attack on appeals court as it had to reconsider earlier ruling that disqualified longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son from running for president

CAIRO – The UN mission in Libya on Friday condemned an attack by gunmen on an appeals court as it was due to reconsider an earlier ruling that disqualified the son of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi from running for office. presidency.

On Thursday, gunmen surrounded the court in the southern city of Sabha and prevented judges from meeting to consider Seif al-Islam Gadhafi’s appeal. Previously, the country’s electoral body had ruled Seif al-Islam ineligible to participate in the presidential race scheduled for next month, citing his previous convictions.

Libya is set to hold the first round of presidential elections on December 24, after years of UN-led attempts to usher in a more democratic future and end the country’s civil war. However, the upcoming vote faces many challenges, including unresolved issues regarding laws governing elections and occasional internal strife between armed groups. Other obstacles include the deep divide that remains between the east and west of the country and the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and soldiers.

The county is currently ruled by an interim government which was elected by Libyan delegates after UN-led talks in Geneva in February.

Acting Libyan Interior Minister Khaled Mazen on Thursday vowed to track down and prosecute the attackers. He insisted that the transitional government is keen to secure the electoral process in order to encourage all Libyans to vote, according to the Libyan state news agency.

On Wednesday, the High National Electoral Commission decided to exclude Seif al-Islam from the race, citing his criminal record. Seif al-Islam was sentenced to death by a Tripoli court in 2015 for using violence against protesters during an uprising against his father in 2011, but this decision has since been called into question by rival authorities in the Libya. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity related to the uprising.

The announcement of his possible candidacy has sparked controversy across the divided country, where a number of other high-profile candidates have also emerged in recent weeks. Among them are the powerful military commander Khalifa Hifter and the interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.

“The Mission reiterates its call for the holding of transparent, fair and inclusive elections on December 24,” UNSMIL said.

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