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Who Is In The Running To Rule Libya?

If Libya manages to hold landmark elections on December 24th peacefully, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Mercenaries are still armed and ready to pounce. And there is growing confusion surrounding who the presidential candidates might end up being. Anyone running for president in oil-rich Libya will want to do so knowing they will control the oil and the oil revenues.

General Haftar, the nominal head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), though he recently “stepped down” to avoid a conflict of interest should he run for president, is a potential leader whom the U.S. has clearly just signaled they would get behind. Why? Because the U.S. is interested in one thing in Libya: Stability. Stability - for better or worse - means a strong leader, even one accused of war crimes. It means another Ghaddafi, for the most part. A candidate weaker than this would mean another civil war and all the bloodshed and geopolitical upset that will go along with that. The U.S. has largely signaled that it would potentially stand behind Haftar through a court ruling this week that ordered a delay in the trial of Haftar stateside for war crimes. There are several civil lawsuits against Haftar in the United States, by victims seeking justice for human rights abuses and torture at the hands of forces loyal to Haftar during the civil war. Those trials have now been postponed until after the elections. Such a postponement would allow Haftar to run for president without the tarnished…

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