Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba: Turkey’s Man in Libya

A  statement of the Turkish National Security Council reflected concern about the holding of elections in Libya despite the initial acceptance of the candidacy of Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, who is described as Ankara’s strongman in the country and who has recently gained popularity, which he built by appeasing different components and segments of the Libyan people, benefiting from his position as prime minister.

While Russia’s concern, expressed by the Russian Deputy Representative to the United Nations, Gennady Kuzmin, seems justified after the exclusion of candidates affiliated with the former government, led by Saif al-Islam Qaddafi and Bashir Saleh, director of the office of the late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, observers wonder about the motives behind the Turkish concern, which some  justify by fears that the judiciary will hear the appeals that may be lodged against Dabaiba’s candidacy, which are based on Article 12 of the Presidential Elections Law, which states that the candidate must resign from his position 3 months before the elections.

On Wednesday, Kuzmin said, during a Security Council session on Libya, that “voices calling for the postponement of elections in Libya must be heard.”

Observers of the Libyan political affairs believe that Dabaiba will control the issue of appeals against his candidacy, especially after the decision of the Supreme Judicial Council to withdraw its decision No. 161 to amend the executive regulations for the mechanisms for appointing and defining the tasks of the appeals and appeal committees related to the electoral process.

The decision to withdraw the amendment means that stakeholders must submit appeals before the primary appeals committees located within the scope of the candidate only, without the appellant, which means that appeals against Dabaiba will be limited to judicial departments in the Tripoli region only.

Dabaiba’s opponents accuse the man of offering bribes to the judiciary in order to reject the appeals against his candidacy. Accusations of giving bribes were also directed at Dabaiba during the Libyan Dialogue Forum in Geneva, which was denied by Dabaiba and his billionaire uncle Ali Dabaiba. Local media said on Wednesday that two appeals against Dabaiba’s candidacy were rejected on Thursday.

The Turkish National Security Council stressed that unilateral steps should be avoided, in order to hold elections in Libya legally and in an atmosphere of calm. This came in a statement issued by the council, following a meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday evening in the capital, Ankara.  “We called on the international community to stand up to the actors who are taking advantage of the stage for their own interests,” he added.

The statement indicated that during the council meeting, the challenges and threats that Turkey faces or could face during the implementation of its economic policies in line with its objectives were evaluated. The Turkish position is consistent with the position of the State Council headed by Khaled Al-Mashri, who is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which has not stopped promoting the necessity of postponing the elections until after the issuance of the constitution.

It seems that Turkey is betting only on Dabaiba to preserve its interests in the country. Even the former Interior Minister, Fathi Pashaga, who is accused of opening the gates of Libya to its military forces and mercenaries, is no longer the appropriate person to bet on, after he initiated  rapprochement with Egypt and France, its regional opponents.

Chaos and ambiguity prevail in the electoral process in Libya, where there is only a month left until the date of the elections, but the scene is still unclear with regard to the candidates.

Director of the Media Center of the High Elections Commission, Sami Al-Sharif, said on Thursday that the final lists will be published after 12 days, once they are decided by the judiciary and the stages of appeals have ended.

Al Arab

Translation by Internationalist 360°