By Moutaz Ali:
Tripoli, 23 May 2014.
The High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) has confirmed that elections for the country’s new parliamentary body . . .[restrict]- the House of Representatives – will be held in the second half of June.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the head of HNEC, Emad Al-Sayeh, said a letter would be sent to the General National Congress (GNC) informing them of the exact date, which Congress could then announce formally.
The date is, however, widely-believed to be 25 June. This is the last logical day on which elections could be held and votes counted before Ramadan starts on 28 June.
Altogether, Sayeh said, 1,743 candidates had been approved and registered. The only to places where no one had registered as as a candidate was in the sub-constituencies of Jadu and Zuwara. These are Amazigh areas and the Amazigh are continuing their boycott of national elections begun in protest at their representation in the Constitutional Assembly.
The number of registered voters had last night reached 222,000, according to HNEC. This figure excludes the 1.1 million who had already registered to vote in the February elections for the Constitutional Assembly. There is now a permanent electoral register and the latter are on it.
At yesterday’s s press conference, Sayeh insisted that tHNEC was an independent institution which was not involved at any political struggle. It was solely concerned with completing the elections in the proper way, he said.
“We are independent and professional institution with a certain schedule, so what’s happening in the country has no affect on us,” HNEC spokesman Haider Badroush told the Libya Herald.
The deadline for voter registration is 29 May before the national register closes ahead of the polls. Libyans living abroad can find out how to register here. [/restrict]