By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 29 April:
Following last week’s disclosure by the man who is now the . . .[restrict]election commission head, Nuri Elabber, that it was highly unlikely that Libyans abroad would be able to vote in the June election for the National Congress, another official from the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) has said there is little chance of any change of heart on the matter. No approval has been given to allow Libyans abroad to vote.
“There has been no decision made on the participation of the overseas Libyans by the Electoral High Commission,” said Salim Shwain, head of the HNEC ’s legal department. “We have not been asked to work on the legal aspects of the overseas registration and voting. Considering the time left till the elections, its chances are slim at best. We have to understand that the upcoming elections will be Libya’s first in a very long time and even if the overseas Libyans are not able to participate in these elections, they will definitely be part of the next one,” he added.
Asked about the registration process started by several Libyan embassies to prepare ahead of the June elections, he said that “no embassy has been authorized to register voters for the June elections”. He added: “If the resolution is passed by the EHC to allow overseas Libyans to vote in these elections then we will devise the laws to register voters. Any registration done by the embassy voluntarily will not be considered and the voters will have to register again according to the rules set by the EHC.”
Despite all the rumours, the NTC and the interim government have announced that the elections will go ahead as planned on 19 June.The voter registration in Libya will start on 1 May and last for 14 days. More than 1,450 registration centres are being set up around the country.
The authorities expect to register more than two million voters from the estimated 3.5 million people thought to be eligible to vote.
Umar Khan can be found at twitter.com/umarnkhan [/restrict]