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Libyan Election Board Proposes January 24 as New Election Date

The High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) in Libya suggested Wednesday that the first round of presidential polls be held on January 24, 2022. The election was originally scheduled for this Friday, December 24. But earlier Wednesday, the parliamentary committee overseeing the electoral process said that going through with the election on the original date would not be possible. “After consulting the technical, judicial and security reports, we inform you of the impossibility of holding the elections on the date of December 24, 2021, provided for by the electoral law,” Al Hadi al-Sagheer, the chairman of the committee, wrote to the head of parliament. The elections chaos comes as no surprise: Just days before the country was to go to the polls, the rules are still being hotly debated, including the eligibility of several candidates. Among them: Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of deposed and summarily executed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and Khalifa Haftar, the renegade military commander who led a 14-month assault that destroyed large parts of the capital, Tripoli. Another unresolved issue is what powers the elected president will have.