The Chairman of Libya's High National Elections Commission, Imad Al-Sayeh, announced on Tuesday that a total of 98 candidates, including two women, have applied to stand in the country's first direct presidential election next month. The closing date for applications was Monday.
Al-Sayeh told a press conference in Tripoli that the applications have been referred to the competent authorities for verification and a primary list of candidates will be published in two days. "We did not expect such large numbers to run for the position of head of state," he admitted.
The election official revealed on Monday that 1,766 people have applied to stand for parliament. However, only 1,343 applications were forwarded to the competent authorities for consideration.
The most notable candidates include interim Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeibeh and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Salama Al-Ghweil.
The most controversial candidates are Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libya's late, long-term ruler Muammar Gaddafi; renegade Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar; and the Speaker of Parliament, Aguila Saleh.