Security officers in Abu Salim Municipality have come under fire for assaulting a well-known public figure and former member of the General National Congress (GNC) Mahmoud Abdul Aziz at a polling station on Sunday.
Explaining what happened, Abdul Aziz published a video on his Facebook account saying that he approached a polling station in Abu Salim Municipality to inquire about his niece's election card that she never received.
"I received a call from my brother informing me that his daughter went to the Al-Samoud voting station in Abu Salim to claim her card. Surprisingly, she found out that her document was withdrawn by an anonymous person."
Abdul Aziz explained that when he approached the polling centre, he found scores of citizens in front of him complaining about a similar experience they had regarding the voting cards.
"I took out my phone to document these violations, but one of the security personnel prevented me from filming."
He said that he called Minister of Interior Khaled Mazen and asked him whether any measures prohibit citizens from filming inside the polling stations, and the minister replied in the negative, according to the former's statement.
The security forces initially responded and allowed him to film before the doors were later closed, and he found himself in the centre of the story.
Backed by officer Nizar Ihmid from the Interior Ministry, Abdul Aziz was attacked by men wearing civilian clothes, as a video circulated on the Internet shows. "They verbally abused me, took my phones and licensed weapons, and beat my son," he added.
News has been making rounds on the Internet regarding fraud voting cards and cards issued for deceased people while in light of the economic difficulties, some are selling their voting tickets for a few thousand dinars.
The Libyan Fatwa House published on its Facebook page a question it received regarding the selling of the voting card. In response, it said that selling electoral cards is prohibited.
"The election is a testimony that will be given by everyone who fulfills the conditions known to the elect... It is never permissible for a person to sell his card, the seller committed a forbidden act, and the buyer committed a forbidden act. This issue is not in question because it is as clear as the sun," the Fatwa read.
Abdul Aziz urged the Attorney General, the Prime Minister, the Presidential Council head, and the Minister of Interior to open an investigation into the allegations of forgery before the case of his assault, vowing that he would take the matter to the courts.
The December 24 voting was demanded by a UN political forum last year as part of a roadmap to end Libya’s civil war. However, a dangerous cocktail of some controversial candidates, the lack of common ground on the electoral rules, and the mounting evidence of manipulation with voting cards threaten to blow up the entire process.