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Libya's Presidential Candidates Could Cause A Civil War

Gaddafi’s son. General Haftar. Libya’s former interior minister Fathi Bashagha. Former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah. Parliament speaker Aguila Saleh. These are the official candidates for Libya’s December 24th presidential elections. It’s a list that suggests renewed civil war. Haftar is the key controlling figure in the east, and of the Libyan National Army (LNA). Gaddafi’s son is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity. Bashagha has been playing all sides from the Turkey alliance to the rival Haftar-supporting side backed by Russia, Egypt, and the UAE. Meanwhile, Saleh is nominally perceived as a Haftar ally from the east, though he also benefited nicely from the General’s failure to take Tripoli. He also wrote the only existing electoral law that was rushed through. There is no unifying candidate to avoid bloodshed here unless we consider al-Dbeibah. At the same time, a “unifying” candidate, in this case, means a powerless one.  

Why do we care what happens in Libya from an energy crisis perspective? The US and China are presently discussing a jointly timed release of their strategic petroleum reserves. If they do this, and Libya descends into chaos again, which will surely be played out on the oilfields in the form of hijacked or completely halted production, removing another 1.2 million bpd from the market (Libya’s current production…

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