Originally it was thus: Strongman Khalifa Haftar wanted to run for the Libyan presidency in the polls set for December 24 under UN auspices. He was among the many who registered for the elections that was to run in parallel with the parliamentary elections to be held in the same day.
He was going to run against such people the current Libyan Prime Minister who now wants to be president Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, speaker of the so-called eastern parliament Aguileh Saleh and Saif Al Islam Gadafi who has been disqualified for what is termed as past crimes. All-in-all 100 prospective candidates put their name down.
But since the beginning of the registration period problems arose. The names of Gadaffi and Haftar were always questionable. The history of the first from the previous regime sent tempers rising among many a Libya.
The other one, Khaifa Haftar fared no better. He spent the last years, certainly after 2014 allied with the so-called eastern parliament and fighting the internationally-UN-recognised government of Libya that took its seat in Tripoli.
To make a long story short, and after much bloody fighting in which Tripoli was about to fall by the military might of Haftar who was supported by different outside states like Russia, France, UAE and Egypt, there was a breakthrough with sudden reconciliation, or apparent agreement between the eastern and western side of the country.
Hence the present elections. To make matters worse Libya’s military prosecutor Mohammed Gharouda has just issued a warrant for the arrest of Haftar which would certainly rise tempers again in a country that has just seen the end of a years-long bloody civil war.
This election is turning up many surprises. The Military Prosecutor’s Office headed by Gharouda has told the Criminal Investigation Agency to carry out the orders of the Public Prosecution and arrest General Haftar as he is regarded a renegade as reported by the Turkish-based Anadolu.
The Military Prosecutor Office added Haftar violated military law by running for president as he “is an officer in the Libyan army and has performed the nomination procedures for the High National Elections Commission,” as quoted by the Turkish news agency.
So it seems the Haftar is now a wanted man by the Libyan authorities and the violation he made “shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.”
But it is early days yet with many are watching to see the reverberations and consequences of the decision made by Gharouda.