HRW questions Libyan election vetting

April 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM

NEW YORK, April 30 (UPI) -- Standards used to vet candidates running for office in upcoming elections in Libya are far from clear, said Human Rights Watch.

Libya is to have elections in June, the first national elections since Moammar Gadhafi died during last year's civil war.

The country's interim government passed a series of laws outlining eligibility for the June election. Those who fought or supported forces loyal to Gadhafi and those who adhered to his political ideologies are barred from competing.

Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Middle East and North African affairs at Human Rights Watch, said, however, that vetting procedures weren't clear.

"After decades of corrupt dictatorship, public officials should meet high standards of integrity," she said in a statement from New York. "But exclusion from public office should be based on concrete and provable claims of wrongdoing, rather than poorly defined connections with the previous government."

Voter and candidate registration for the Libyan National Congress starts Tuesday. The U.N. Support Mission in Libya said the process would be Libyan-led but the mission was there to provide technical support to an electoral committee and was ready to work with the country's election commission.

Voters in Misurata early this year cast ballots in the first election in roughly 40 years.

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