Libya: UN condemns attack on court before national vote

The United Nations Mission in Libya condemned the armed men’s attack on the Court of Appeals because the court will review an earlier decision that disqualified the son of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi from running for president

Cairo-On Friday, the UN mission in Libya condemned armed men’s attack on the Court of Appeals as it prepared to review an earlier decision that cancelled the son of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi from running for president Qualifications.

On Thursday, armed men surrounded the court in the southern town of Sabha and prevented a judge from meeting to investigate the appeal of Saif Islam Gaddafi. Earlier, the country’s electoral agency believed that Saif Islam was not eligible to participate in the presidential election scheduled for next month on the grounds that he had been convicted.

After years of attempts by the United Nations to usher in a more democratic future and end the civil war, Libya will hold its first round of presidential elections on December 24. However, the upcoming vote faces many challenges, including unresolved issues regarding electoral laws and occasional infighting between armed groups. Other obstacles include the deep rift between the east and west of the country and the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and armies.

The county is currently managed by an interim government that was elected by Libyan representatives after the UN-led Geneva talks in February.

Libya’s interim interior minister Khalid Mazan vowed on Thursday to hunt down and prosecute the assailants. According to the Libyan state news agency, he insisted that the transitional government is keen to ensure the electoral process to encourage all Libyans to vote.

On Wednesday, the National High Election Commission decided to exclude Saif Islam from the campaign on the grounds of his criminal record. Seif al-Islam was sentenced to death by the Tripoli court in 2015 for using violence against protesters in an uprising against his father in 2011, but this ruling has since been challenged by hostile Libyan authorities. He was also wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity related to the uprising.

The news that he might run for the election has caused controversy in this divided country, and many other well-known candidates have emerged in recent weeks. Among them are the powerful military commander Khalifa Shift and the country’s interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Debeba.

“The mission once again called for transparent, fair and inclusive elections on December 24,” UNSMI said.

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