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Libya's Election Is All About Oil Money

Libya’s election problem is still all about oil money. 

The fear among those who could lose power in Libya as a result of elections planned for December 24th is now palpable. None of the major power brokers on either side are willing to loosen their grip on power in this oil-rich country. 

The entire premise of the pre-election jockeying is this: The new government will make significant concessions to the east if all the power brokers of the east (including General Haftar) buy into the new unity government in the west. But that means specifically buying into the current government of national unity led by Abd Aldabaiba. Aldabaiba hasn’t officially announced he is running for president in December, but he’s been campaigning clearly and attempting to align the country’s forces around himself, centered on Tripoli. Power brokers in the east aren’t buying it, and that could lead to a dangerous break down in an already fragile pre-election period. 

Again, it’s all about the oil. When Haftar moved to take over Tripoli by first cutting off the oil supply, it was because the east (Benghazi) had no access to oil revenues. When Haftar launched his campaign, Tripoli closed down the bank clearing system. It should have been reopened once Haftar allowed the oil to start flowing again about this time last year. It has not been reopened, which means that the GNU head is still trying to deprive the east of any oil revenues. 


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