Libya transitional council sees delay to elections

The head of Libya’s National Transitional Council said he expected an election for the national assembly would be delayed, holding up a landmark vote in the transformation of the country following the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.

The election for an assembly that will draw up a new constitution was originally scheduled for June 19.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil told Reuters he thought the vote would be delayed by appeals from people who have been blocked from standing as candidates.

Candidates wishing to run in the election must first pass a vetting process which they may appeal in court. “This appeal process will perhaps result in a postponement of the elections,” he said.

The last day for candidate registration was on May 23 and is followed by a 10-day appeal process. The candidates then need time to campaign and the High National Election Commission must have time to print out ballots.

Earlier last week, commission chief Nouri al-Abbar had said they could not confirm the June 19 date.

Neither Abbar nor Abdul-Jalil specified a new potential date or by how long it could be delayed.

In other developments, Seif al-Islam, the son of Gadhafi, has not been transferred to Tripoli because the ex-rebels holding him have not been paid, Libya’s envoy to the International Criminal Court said Monday.

“The failure of the National Transitional Council to fulfill its promise to pay the salaries of the revolutionaries of Zintan for six months’ work, for an amount of not more than 1.7 million dinars [$1.36 million], led them to cancel Seif al-Islam’s transfer to prison in Tripoli,” Ahmad al-Jehani told AFP.

Jehani denied that this sum of money represented “compensation” for the transfer of Gadhafi’s son.

“It is a normal demand. This is just the salary of the revolutionaries for their work in recent months,” he said.

“Initially the NTC said they were ready to pay this sum. But when the time came, they failed to meet their commitments and said: ‘It’s only possible to pay half the amount,’” Jehani added.

Seif, 39, has been in custody in the town of Zintan 180 kilometers southwest of Tripoli since his arrest on Nov. 19, in the wake of the uprising that toppled his father’s rule after more than 40 years in power.

Both Seif and his late father’s spymaster, Abdullah Senussi, are wanted by The Hague-based ICC for crimes against humanity committed in trying to put down last year’s bloody revolt.

Libya has been at loggerheads with the ICC over who has the right to bring the two former regime figures to justice.

(Source: The Daily Star)

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