Libyan PM, Al-Dbeibah Registers Bid for Presidency

The Interim prime minister of Libya, Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah has registered as a candidate for the presidency on Sunday despite having vowed not to do so as a condition of taking his current post and despite contested election rules that may prevent him from standing.

Abdulhamid Dbeibah’s entry into a race that now features many of Libya’s main players of the past decade of chaos adds to the turmoil over a vote that is due to take place within five weeks, but for which rules have not yet been agreed.

The U.N. political forum last year demanded the parliamentary and presidential elections which will later take place on Dec. 24 as part of a roadmap to end Libya’s civil war, a process that also led to the formation of Dbeibah’s interim unity government.

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Libya has had little stability since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi as the country fragmented among myriad armed groups. The government was split in 2014 between warring rival administrations based in the east and west.

However, the disputes over the election threaten to derail the U.N.-backed peace process that emerged last year after the collapse of an eastern military offensive to seize the capital Tripoli.

The elections are being organised under a law issued by parliament speaker Aguila Saleh in September that set a first-round presidential vote for Dec. 24 but that delayed the parliamentary election to January or February.

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Dbeibah and some major political figures and groupings in western Libya have criticised Saleh’s election law, saying it was passed improperly, and have called for both votes to be delayed until there is agreement on the rules.

The electoral commission and Libyan courts are likely to rule on the eligibility of candidates in the coming weeks, a process that may itself stir new disputes.


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