TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya’s interim prime minister filed a request Sunday to run for president despite being technically barred from the upcoming elections.
Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah is meant to lead the country until a winner is declared following national and presidential elections on Dec. 24.
Dbeibah is barred from running under Libya’s current election laws. He promised he would not seek office in this year’s elections as a condition to taking on his caretaker role earlier this year. In order to be eligible, he also would have needed to have suspended himself from governmental duties at least three months before the polling date, which he did not.
The vote faces growing uncertainty. Libya has been wracked by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled the late dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. The country had for years been split between a government in the east and a U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli, aided by western-based militias. Each side in the civil war has also had the support of mercenaries and foreign forces from Turkey, Russia and Syria and different regional powers.
Earlier this month, several controversial candidates have come forward, including Seif al-Islam, the son and one-time heir apparent of Gadhafi. Powerful military commander Khalifa Hifter, who besieged the capital of Tripoli for nearly a year in 2019, is also running.