Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah has said he will run for president if that is what the Libyan people want, a day after the announcement of Seif al-Islam Gaddafi’s candidacy in the upcoming elections in December.
“It’s up to you. Do you want me to run for office or not? Dbeibah asked students of the new National Youth Council in the capital Tripoli on Monday. He also said he would announce his position on the candidacy for the presidential elections at the “appropriate time”.
He also rejected election laws passed last month by the eastern-based House of Representatives, saying they were designed to only suit certain people.
Critics say the new election laws would allow warlord Khalifa Haftar, the retired coup general who controls the majority of eastern Libya, to run for president.
The self-proclaimed “Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army” greatly contributed to the decade-long turmoil in Libya after leading an unsuccessful military offensive, with the support of foreign powers, to overthrow the government of national accord. internationally recognized (GNA) in the west.
“We want a fair parliament that serves all Libyans, and a fair electoral law that Libyans agree on,” Dbeibah said.
Running is currently prohibited under Libya’s current electoral laws.
Dbeibah has yet to officially announce his candidacy. Under Libyan electoral laws, he should have left his government post more than three months before the date of the elections. He also pledged when he was appointed to the interim post through UN-led talks that he would not stand for election in his successor government. These talks were marred by allegations of corruption.
Apparently referring to the Gaddafi family, Dbeibah also referred to a recent controversy involving the Libyan foreign minister who faces suspension after telling the BBC that the government could work with the United States to extradite a man wanted in the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. Commercial flight crash over Scotland left 270 people dead. Gaddafi’s government had accepted responsibility for the attack and paid compensation to the families of the victims after years of sanctions.
“Who brought us to Lockerbie?” Dbeibah asked the crowd. “Who put us under sanctions, travel bans. It cannot be repeated.
The long-awaited vote still faces challenges, including unresolved issues regarding laws governing elections and occasional internal strife between armed groups. Other obstacles include the deep divide that remains between the east and west of the country, divided for years by war, and the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and soldiers.