World, Middle East

Libyan premier vows to announce decision on seeking presidency 'at right time'

Presidential elections set for Dec. 24 as disagreements over electoral laws persist

Walid Abdullah   | 15.11.2021
Libyan premier vows to announce decision on seeking presidency 'at right time' Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

TRIPOLI, Libya

Libya’s prime minister said Monday that he will announce his position on running for the presidential elections at the "appropriate moment."

Speaking to students at the new National Youth Council in the capital Tripoli, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh said his decision to run for the country’s top office will be determined by the will of young people.

He also rejected electoral laws passed last month by the eastern-based House of Representatives, saying they are meant to suit some people.

Critics say the new election laws would allow warlord Khalifa Haftar, the putschist retired general who controls the majority of Libya’s east, to seek the presidency.

The self-proclaimed "commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army” has contributed greatly to the decade-long turmoil in Libya after leading an unsuccessful military offensive, with the support of foreign powers, to topple the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west.

“We want a fair parliament that serves all Libyans, and a fair election law that Libyans agree on,” Dbeibeh said.

On March 16, Dbeibeh became the oil-rich country’s premier following a breakthrough in February in which rival Libyan sides agreed to a new executive authority which also saw Mohammad Menfi chosen as the head of a three-member Presidential Council.

Libya’s presidential and parliamentary elections are set to take place on Dec. 24 under an UN-sponsored agreement reached by Libyan political rivals during meetings last November in Tunisia.

The country’s electoral commission on Nov. 8 opened registration for candidates in next month’s polls despite ongoing tensions between the parliament, the High Council of State, and the unity government over electoral powers and laws.

Applications for presidential candidacy will be accepted until Nov. 22 and until Dec. 7 for parliamentary polls.

Dbeibeh is seen as one of the frontrunners for the country’s presidency.

* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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