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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Libya. General Khalifa Haftar wants to run for president

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General Khalifa Haftar, leader of the Libyan National Army, has announced that he will run for the presidential election in Libya. He registered his candidacy at the election center in the city of Benghazi. The elections will be held on December 24.

General Khalifa Haftar, the favorite in the presidential race, announced his decision in a televised speech, adding that “elections are the only way out of the serious crisis in which Libya is plunged.” He declared that in the event of his victory, he would lead the country on “the path of reconciliation, peace and reconstruction” after the conflict in the country that had been going on for years.

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Elections in Libya

The holding of presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya was agreed in October 2020, when the ceasefire was signed. Its signatories were representatives of both conflicting centers of power: the Government of National Unity (GNA) based in Tripoli and led by Fajiz al-Saraja and the Libyan National Army (LNA) controlling the east of the state, General Chalifa Haftar.

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Khalifa HaftarYANNIS KOLESIDIS / EPA / PAP

The government of Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, recognized by both sides, has been in operation since March 2021. His appointment was the first step towards stabilization after 10 years of chaos in which Libya plunged after the death in October 2011 of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Who is General Khalifa Haftar

Khalifa Haftar lived in the United States until 2011. With the support of the CIA, he founded a paramilitary organization seeking to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. The general is allied with the administration in the east of the country. He enjoyed the support of France, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt until the unsuccessful 14-day offensive of the Libyan National Army led by him against Tripoli in June 2020. The attack was stopped by an internationally recognized government.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (left)PAP / EPA / LIBYAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION

In September of that year, Haftar handed over his military responsibilities to Abd ar-Razzak an-Nadhuri, chief of staff of the eastern army, to meet the requirements of the central election commission to candidates for presidential office.

Haftar’s rival in the first presidential election in Libya’s history, organized under the auspices of the United Nations, will include wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity Saif al-Islam, son of former dictator Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Main photo source: YANNIS KOLESIDIS / EPA / PAP



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