CAIRO - 8 November 2021: Candidates for the Libyan parliamentary and presidential elections begin, on Monday, to register their names to run for the elections.
Running for two weeks, this presidential vote is the first in the country's history, and everyone hopes it will put an end to the chaos and division that befell the country after the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011.
It is expected that both elections will witness a long list of candidates, especially the presidential elections scheduled for December 24, because of the great powers granted by Libyan law to the next president.
Several political figures have announced their candidacy to compete for the presidency, such as former Libyan delegate to the United Nations and Head of the Libya Revival Bloc Ibrahim Dabbashi; former Ambassador to the UAE Aref Al-Nayed; MP Abdessalam Nassiya; and Head of the Renewal Party Suleiman Al-Bayoudi; along with a comedian and others unknown to the public opinion. The position has not yet captured the attention of women.
There are also strong expectations that Commander of the Libyan army Khalifa Haftar will run in the presidential elections, alongside Parliament Speaker Aquila Saleh, who is being pressured to withdraw from the candidacy and make way for Haftar with the aim of not scattering their ranks, according to several sources. However, Aquila's supporters see that the army commander is not a preference for the western region and cannot be the "winning horse" of the Fezzan region, especially after the Supreme Council of State threatened war if Haftar came to power.
Minister of Interior in the former Government of National Accord Fathi Bashagha, who is counting on the votes of the western region, especially his city of Misurata, is supposed to run. But if current Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, the most popular in the region, succeeds in overcoming the legal obstacle that prevents him from running, he will threaten Bashagha's return to power.
Article 12 obliges everyone who wants to run to confirm that he stopped working 3 months before the date of his candidacy by appealing to the judiciary, which constitutes an obstacle for the Minister of Interior.
Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi
Saif Al-Islam, the son of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi, is one of the possible candidates. Supporters of the former regime rely on Gaddafi to be able to return to power, especially as he announced during an interview with "The New York Times" that he would presently return to the Libyan political scene.
In this context, political analyst Muhammad Al-Raesh said that Ibrahim Al-Dabbashi and Aref Al-Nayed enjoy a weak chance to run for elections because they are outside the country and their popularity is low. Al-Raesh added that Fathi Bashagha’s chances are also slim due to his failure to dismantle militias and impose order while in power, in addition to his corruption files. His popularity has declined since he failed to head the government that emerged from the Political Dialogue Forum.
Only three names
In the event the elections are conducted, Al-Raesh expects, in a statement to Al-Arabiya Net, that the race for the presidency will be limited to three names. Abdul Hamid Al-Dabaiba, who has gained great popularity since he became prime minister and has benefited from mobilizing the masses through programs and projects that everyone has benefited from. This qualifies him to be the "ideal candidate” for the Tripoli region, and the preferred candidate for some southern cities.
According to Al-Raesh, Dabaiba will compete with Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, who is backed by a large electoral power, represented by the supporters of the former regime, and benefits from the disappointment of some Libyans with the lack of stability and the division of the country. The votes of the opponents of Gaddafi's son and Dabaiba go to the commander of the Libyan army, Haftar, who will get most of the votes of the eastern region that is politically motivated, and some votes from the south if Parliament Speaker Aquila Saleh does not run for office.
A month and a half to the elections, Libya is living in a state of tension with disagreements between the main political parties in the country over election laws, conditions for candidacy, and the election date, among calls to postpone it until a referendum on the constitution is held and other calls to boycott it.