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Libya to go to polls June 25 as planned

 Libya to go to polls June 25 as planned/AFP

Libya to go to polls June 25 as planned/AFP

TRIPOLI, May 29 – Libya is to go to the polls on June 25 as planned, despite a political crisis with rival governments contesting power, the country’s High National Elections Commission announced Thursday.

Imad al Sayeh, the panel’s president, urged Libyans to register on electoral lists by a midnight deadline.

The date for polling, as announced on May 20, remains June 25 “and Libyans living abroad will vote on June 21-22”, he told a news conference.

Sayeh said only 1.4 million of the 3.4 million eligible voters had so far registered.

The elections are to replace the General National Congress, the interim parliament which has served as post Kadhafi Libya’s highest political authority.

The GNC was elected in July 2012, in Libya’s first ever free polls, almost one year after the revolution which ousted the regime of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

Its legitimacy was challenged after the GNC prolonged its mandate, due to expire last February, until December 2014.

Under the pressure of street protests, it announced new elections.

However, Libya’s political crisis deepened Wednesday with outgoing premier Abdullah al Thani submitting a request for a legal ruling on whether he must hand over power to his GNC-elected successor.

Critics have charged that Ahmed Miitig was “illegally elected” as prime minister in a measure imposed by Islamists.

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Thani resigned last month after claiming he and his family had been attacked, but Thani’s outgoing team and the Miitig administration remain at loggerheads.


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