Son of former ruler among 25 of the 98 registered presidential candidates barred from running in the December 24 elections.
The Libyan Election Commission has said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, was ineligible to run in the planned presidential election in December.
Gaddafi was among 25 candidates disqualified by the commission on Wednesday, in an initial decision pending an appeals process that will ultimately be decided by the judiciary. About 98 Libyans had applied as candidates.
The military prosecutor in Tripoli had urged the commission to exclude Gaddafi after his conviction in absentia for war crimes in 2015 for his part in fighting the insurgency that removed his late father in 2011.
Gaddafi then appeared via video link from Zintan, where he was being held by fighters who captured him as he tried to flee Libya after the overthrow of his father. He denied wrongdoing.
Two other well-known candidates, Ali Zeidan and Nouri Abusahmain, were also excluded.
Disputes over electoral rules, including the legal basis of the December 24 vote and who should stand for election, threaten to derail an internationally-backed peace process aimed at ending a decade of chaos.
Some of the other candidates initially approved by the committee had also been charged with possible violations by political rivals.
Interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah promised not to run for president as a condition of taking up his current position, and has not resigned three months before the vote, as required by a disputed electoral law.
Another prominent candidate, eastern-based renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, is said to be a US citizen, which could also rule him out. Many people in western Libya also accuse him of war crimes committed during his attack on Tripoli in 2019-20.
Haftar denies war crimes and says he is not a US citizen. Dbeibah has described the election rules issued in September by parliament speaker Aguila Saleh, who is also a candidate, as “flawed”.
The Libyan envoy to the United Nations, Jan Kubis, who is stepping down from his post, told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the Libyan judiciary would make the final decision on the rules and on whether candidates are eligible.
Kubis told the Security Council on Wednesday that he would remain in office until after the election next month.