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Hifter set to cast wide influence in potential Libyan elections

Libya’s military strongman, Khalifa Hifter, announced his support for UN-backed elections in the country in a surprising move that could see Hifter and his supporters sweep up power.

In a surprising move, Gen. Khalifa Hifter, Libya’s eastern military strongman, announced his acceptance of elections in Libya as a way out of the political deadlock in the war-ravaged country. Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Mesmari announced the decision in a news conference Dec. 27.

However, Mesmari said his boss agreed to the elections only if they are organized under “United Nations and Arab League supervision,” while calling on the country’s parliament to pass a new electoral law within “reasonable time.” Both conditions are likely to be met since the United Nations is in charge of the whole political process in the country and the current election law is likely to be amended because different political groups and a large number of the general public reject it given its unclarity and its favoring of independent contestants over political parties. The current election law also does not exempt holders of dual nationality citizens from running in elections, which directly violates Libya’s current citizenship law.

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