TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah said on Monday the parliament’s election law was flawed and written to serve specific candidates as he said he would announce whether he will run for president “at the crucial moment”.
Allies of Dbeibah told Reuters a week ago that he would run, despite having pledged when he was installed as prime minister of the interim unity government that he would not take part in the coming election.
“They come out with laws designed for personalities and we cannot be satisfied with this flawed law,” he said at a rally in Tripoli.
Analysts see Dbeibah as a possible frontrunner for president after he instituted a series of populist measures including investment in overlooked towns and cash payouts for newlyweds.
“At the crucial moment, I will announce my position on this election,” he told the crowd.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former dictator Muammar Gaddafi who was toppled in 2011, announced his candidacy on Sunday. Eastern commander Khalifa Haftar is also expected to run, as is the parliament speaker Aguila Saleh.
Libya’s rival factions have still not agreed the rules for the election less than six weeks before the Dec. 24 voting date set through a U.N.-backed peace roadmap last year.
The roadmap called for Libya’s political entities to agree a constitutional basis for the vote and to then hold both parliamentary and presidential elections on the same date.
However, there was no agreement on the constitution and the only election law that has been issued – by the parliament speaker in controversial circumstances – set Dec. 24 as the voting date only for a first round of the presidential election.
The second round of that vote and the parliamentary election would follow in January or February, according to that law, which also said that officeholders wanting to stand should step away from their posts three months before polling day.
The High State Council, a political entity whose role was enshrined by a political agreement in 2015 that was part of an earlier peace process, has rejected the law.
(Reporting by Ahmed Elumami, writing by Angus McDowall, editing by Andrew Heavens)