He enjoys the support of Haftar’s control areas.. Saif Gaddafi’s return to the elections undermines the chances of the retired Major General
Analysts say that Saif Gaddafi enjoys great support in the south as well as in the east of Libya, despite the hegemony of Khalifa Haftar there. The influence of the former regime also extends to western Libya. As for Haftar, his base is concentrated in the east, and it has been declining since his defeat in Tripoli.
Tripoli- Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s return to the presidential race, by ruling of the Sabha Court (southern Libya), has once again confused the Libyan scene, especially with the escalation of the conflict between him and retired Major General Khalifa Haftar in the south of the country.
Saif al-Islam appealed against the decision to exclude him from running in the presidential elections, which are raging controversy after the entry of personalities to the electoral race that may bring turmoil back to Libya.
The enmity was evident this time between the supporters of the former regime and Haftar’s supporters, after the latter closed the Sabha Court for days by force of arms, to prevent Saif al-Islam’s lawyer from submitting an appeal against his exclusion from the presidential elections scheduled for December 24.
Supporters of Saif Gaddafi emerged in the city of Sabha and in other Libyan cities, rejoicing at his return to the presidential race again, which may end Haftar’s hopes of reaching power because of his dependence on the supporters of the former regime in structuring his forces and voting for him in the elections.
Politicians believe that the elections may be postponed, with the support of the international community, after Saif Gaddafi returned to the presidential race, and the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, bypassed the road map and the law for the election of the head of state, and not to remove Khalifa Haftar from the list of presidential candidates, who is accused of war crimes, and he is subject to a ruling my absence to death.
Haftar went crazy because of a sword
A member of the Supreme Council of State, Abdel Qader Huwaili, says that Haftar went crazy when he saw Saif Gaddafi appear in public with the support of Russia and run as a competitor in the presidential elections.
“Haftar demanded authority for himself and his sons, and the entry of Gaddafi’s son prevented him from gaining power, and therefore he imposed his forces in Sebha on Saif Gaddafi to prevent him from advancing towards the presidential elections,” Huwaili added.
And Huwaili – in his statement to Al Jazeera Net – considered that Gaddafi’s supporters see Haftar as a tool to gain power, and then they will get rid of him, “as Gaddafi’s supporters were planning, after entering with Haftar in the war on Tripoli in 2019, his participation to reach power in the capital and then coup against him.”
According to Huwaili, supporters of the former regime buy electoral cards, taking advantage of the poor living situation of the people of the south, and a single electoral card in Sebha amounted to 1500 dinars, which annoys Haftar.
The member of the State Council believes that Saif Gaddafi is not very popular, and his supporters reach 30,000 people in the southern regions, and Haftar’s supporters do not exceed the barrier of 5,000 people in the same regions.
“Clash of Criminals”
Member of the Supreme Council of State, Qassem Dabarz, says that the conflict between Khalifa Haftar and Saif Gaddafi “is between two criminals wanted for justice, and they are not supposed to participate in the Libyan scene after their abuse of the people.”
Debars expressed his regret that justice for a wanted “criminal” allowed the General Prosecutor, Libyan courts and the International Criminal Court to compete in elections that will bring out the head of the Libyan state.
Debers added to Al-Jazeera Net, “Unfortunately, the weakness of the state and its judiciary, and the exaggerated tolerance of the supporters of the February Revolution, led us to deal with Haftar and Saif Gaddafi, who are from the same school, ideas and vision, because both of them are thirsty for power, and they have a strong desire for revenge, and they are motivated from abroad.”
According to the council member, the support for the supporters of the former regime of Haftar was for the purpose of temporary interest, and each of them uses the other and seeks to achieve gains in the same ways; As Gaddafi’s supporters supported Haftar until their expected candidate appeared, and he appeared to them.
New old runner
Political analyst Abdullah al-Kabir believes that the hostility between Saif Gaddafi and Haftar is not new. Haftar is concerned about Saif Gaddafi as a strong contender capable of influencing the Libyan electoral process and political scene.
Al-Kabeer told Al-Jazeera Net, “The competition between Haftar and Saif Gaddafi extends to international and regional allies, as Russia appears closer to supporting Saif Gaddafi, and this will complicate matters for Haftar.”
According to the analyst, some of the supporters of the former regime joined Haftar’s military project, wanting to share power if he managed to storm the capital, Tripoli in 2019, and that did not happen.
And he added, “Saif Gaddafi has great support in the south as well as in the east, where Haftar dominates, and the influence of the former regime extends to the Libyan west. As for Haftar, his base is concentrated in the east and has been declining since his defeat in Tripoli.”
Al-Kabeer believes that the conflict may reach a clash between Saif Gaddafi and Haftar in the south, if Saif Gaddafi wants to consolidate his presence in the political scene and extend his influence in the Libyan south, which means a clash with Haftar, who owns military forces in those areas. However, the events of the Sabha court – in the opinion of the analyst – showed that Haftar’s control over the south is fragile.