2022 Libyan presidential election

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2022 Libyan presidential election

  Saif al-Islam Gaddafi 2021.png Dr Aref Ali Nayed.png Fathi Bashagha 2021.png
Nominee Saif al-Islam Gaddafi Aref Ali Nayed Fathi Bashagha
Party PFLL Ihya Libya Independent

  Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh (15-04-2021).jpg General Haftar (cropped).jpg Ahmed Maiteeq 2020.jpg
Nominee Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh Khalifa Haftar Ahmed Maiteeq
Party Independent Independent Independent

  Aguila Salah Issa - 2020 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Aguila Saleh Issa Leila bin Khalifa
Party Independent National Movement Party

President before election

Mohamed al-Menfi

Elected President


The Libyan presidential election is scheduled to be held in 2022.[1] The presidential election had originally been planned for 10 December 2018,[2] but was delayed due to Khalifa Haftar's Western Libya campaign.[3][4] The election was thereafter scheduled to be held on 24 December 2021 but was postponed after the head of High National Election Commission (HNEC) ordered the dissolution of the electoral committees nationwide.[5]



In a surprise offensive on 3 March 2017, the Islamist-dominated Benghazi Defense Brigades seized a number of oil ports from the Libyan National Army-backed House of Representatives.[6] On 7 March 2017, the ports were handed over to the Government of National Accord, prompting the House of Representatives to abandon the UN-brokered peace deal it had previously agreed to with that government, denouncing the BDB capture of the ports as "terrorist attacks".[7] The House then called for Libya's electoral commission to make "all the necessary arrangements to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections before February 2018".[8]


In May 2018, talks occurred in Paris, France, where leaders of the Government of National Accord and representatives of Haftar's Libyan National Army agreed on establishing a legal framework by 16 September to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on 10 December.[9] The four people who agreed to deal were: Fayez al-Sarraj (head of the Government of National Accord), Khalifa Haftar (head of the Libyan National Army), Aguila Saleh Issa (head of the House of Representatives), and Khalid al-Mishri (head of the High Council of State).[10] This was supported by the final report of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue for the preparatory phase of the Libyan National Conference, which stated that Libyans participating in the consultative process "expressed fatigue and frustration with the current political situation and called for an election or other major change to usher in a new system".[11]

In July, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Libya to speak with GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj on making sure the elections went forward, and announcing that France donated US$1 million for the election.[12] The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated in early August 2018 that he doubted that elections would be held at the end of the year, despite France's push,[13] and Italian ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone echoed this view.[14] The Italian embassy in Tripoli later denied that Perrone was trying to delay the election after his statements were criticized by the Libyan House of Representatives.[15] Ghassan Salamé, the United Nations representative in Libya, stated that an election in December 2018 would be unlikely due to the ongoing fighting.[16]

In November 2018, major Libyan political figures attended the two-day Palermo Conference in an attempt to resolve the Libyan Conflict, but without a breakthrough.[17]


One of the major aims of the Libyan National Conference, which was initially scheduled for 14–16 April 2019, but postponed by the start of Haftar's military operation to take control of Tripoli from the GNA, was to recommend methods and dates of the 2019 elections to the Libyan House of Representatives and High Council of State.[18]

According to resolution 8/2013 of the General National Congress (GNC), the body responsible for the practical aspects of organising the elections is the High National Elections Commission (HNEC).[19][20] HNEC is expected to follow the procedures outlined in resolution 17/2013 of the GNC.[19] As of 2019, the HNEC Board consisted of Emad Alshadly al-Sayah, Rabab Mohammed Halab, Abdelhakim Alshaab Belkhair and Abubakr Ali Marda.[21]

The 2019 Libyan local elections took place in 20 localities, prior to the parliamentary and presidential elections, in March and April 2019,[22][23][24][25] with further planned elections in other towns during 2019. The local elections are coordinated by the Central Commission of Municipal Council Elections in close cooperation with HNEC.[20]

In 2019, Libyan Speaker of the House Aguila Saleh announced that elections could be held in 2020.[26]


On 16 September 2020, Fayez al-Sarraj stated that he would step down from his position by the end of October 2020. This took place after the first month of the start of the 2020 Libyan protests in Tripoli, Benghazi and other cities across Libya.[27][28]


On 23 September 2021, Haftar temporarily withdrew his post from the command of the LNA for a potential run in the election. Under Libyan law, officials must suspend their current work three months before participating in the election.[29]


Various postponements have resulted from disputes about fundamental rules governing the election, including the voting timetable, the eligibility of the main candidates and the eventual powers of the next president and parliament.

Days before the first round was scheduled to take place, the election was already up in the air, with no official list of candidates presented to the public and no formal campaigning under way.[30] On 22 December the parliament of Libya confirmed the postponement. The chairman of the election committee said, ”After consulting the technical, judicial and security reports, we inform you of the impossibility of holding the elections on the date of 24 December 2021, provided for by the electoral law,” without giving a new date.[31] Foreign Policy summarized that the causes for the delay were that "the process was beleaguered by two interrelated issues: differences over the idea of holding a presidential election in the current context, and the resulting failure to reach the required consensus on a framework for elections".[32]

The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and the United States urged Libya to set a new date for delayed presidential election quickly.[33] The HNEC insisted that the House of Representatives is responsible for setting the new date.[34] Speaker of the House of Representatives Aguila Saleh said the election committee responsible for overseeing elections must set a "definitive" date for postponed presidential and legislative polls by the end of January.[35]

The U.N.'s special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, who has pursued a new election date, told the Associated Press that it was still "very reasonable and possible" for the country's 2.8 million voters to cast their ballots by June 2022 in line with the U.N.-brokered roadmap.[36]

On 23 January 2022, interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah called for a constitution to be established before holding the delayed presidential and parliamentary elections.[37] A month later, on 22 February, Dbeibah announced a plan to hold the elections in June 2022.[38] He later proposed holding elections at the end of 2022.[39]

Electoral system[edit]

The President of Libya is elected through two-round system for a five-year term.

Presidential candidates[edit]

Registration for presidential candidates opened on 7 November and lasted until 22 November.[40][41] Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, registered his candidacy on 14 November 2021.[42] Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, registered his candidacy on 16 November.[43] Aref Nayed, Chairman of the Ihya Libya Party, submitted his candidacy on 17 November 2021. Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh registered his candidacy on 21 November.[44] In total, 96 men and two women registered as candidates.[45]

A preliminary list of 73 presidential candidates was released by the HNEC on 24 November. Twenty-five candidates were disqualified from the election, including Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Nouri Abusahmain, Bashir Saleh Bashir, and Ali Zeidan. Gaddafi, Abusahmain, and Saleh were disqualified under Article 10/7 of the electoral law for having been convicted of a crime. Gaddafi was also disqualified under Article 17/5 for not providing a certificate showing a clean criminal record. Zeidan was disqualified under Article 10/2 for having more than one nationality and under Article 11 for not having 5000 supporters.[46] According to the electoral law, any appeals against the disqualifications are to be decided by the judiciary.[47]

On 28 November, the Tripoli Appeals Court rejected the candidacy of current prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh after accepting two appeals against his bid. The first appeal was filed by presidential candidates Aref Ali Nayed, Othman Abdeljalil, Mohammed Al-Muntasser, and Libyan Political Dialogue Forum members Ahmed Al-Sharkasi and Al-Saida Al-Yakoubi, while the second appeal was filed by presidential candidate Fathi Bashagha.[48]

On 30 November, Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar was disqualified from the presidential election after the Zawiya Court of First Instance accepted an appeal against his candidacy.[49]

On 1 December, four candidates disqualified by the HNEC, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, Nouri Abusahmain, Salama Al-Ghweil, and Fathi Benshatwan were placed back on the ballot by the Tripoli Court of Appeal.[50][51]

On 2 December, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was placed back on the ballot after the Sabha Court of Appeal accepted his appeal against his disqualification from the list of presidential candidates.[52]

On 6 December, Khalifa Haftar returned to the presidential election after the Tripoli Court of Appeal rejected a 30 November ruling by the lower Zawiya court.[53]


Portrait Candidate Party Candidacy registration date Notes
Nouri Abusahmain cropped.jpg Nouri Abusahmain Ya Bilad[50] Former President of the General National Congress
No image (male).svg Salama Al-Ghweil Independent Minister of State for Economic Affairs[54]
No image (male).svg Mohamed Ahmed Al Sharif
(born 1937)
Independent 17 November 2021[55] Former head of the Libyan Islamic Society[56]
No image (male).svg Mayouf Amarif Independent Professor at Sabha University[57]
 Ibrahim-Omar-Dabbashi.jpg Ibrahim Dabbashi
(born 1950)
Independent Former permanent representative of Libya to the United Nations[58]
 Saif al-Islam Gaddafi 2021.png Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
(born 1972)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya 14 November 2021[59] Son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
 Dr Aref Ali Nayed.png Aref Ali Nayed
(born 1962)
Ihya Libya 17 November 2021[60] Former Libyan Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates
No image (male).svg Hunayda al-Mahdi Independent Social sciences researcher[61]
Fathi Bashagha 2021.png Fathi Bashagha
(born 1962)
Independent 18 November 2021[62] Former Minister of Interior of the Government of National Accord[63]
No image (male).svg Fathi Benshatwan Independent 16 November 2021[55] Former Minister of Energy (2004-2006)[51][55]
Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh (15-04-2021).jpg Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh
(born 1959)
Libya Future[64] 21 November 2021[65] Interim Prime Minister of Libya
General Haftar (cropped).jpg Khalifa Haftar
(born 1943)
Independent 16 November 2021[66] Commander of the Libyan National Army[67]
Leila bin Khalifa
(born 1975)
National Movement Party 22 November 2021[68] Human Rights Activist and Head of National Movement Party
Ahmed Maiteeq 2020.jpg Ahmed Maiteeq
(born 1972)
Independent 18 November 2021[69] Former Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, former Deputy Head of the Presidential Council
No image (male).svg Abdullah Ahmed Naker Summit Party 16 November 2021[55] Former head of the Tripoli Revolutionaries Council[70]
No image (male).svg Abdelmajeed Saif Al-Nasr
(born 1957)
Independent Former Libyan Ambassador to Morocco[71]
Aguila Salah Issa - 2020 (cropped).jpg Aguila Saleh Issa
(born 1944)
Independent 17 November 2021[40] Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives
No image (male).svg Khalid Shakshak Independent Head of Audit Bureau[51]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]