The Prime Minister of Libya, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has registered his candidacy for next month’s presidential election, joining Muammar Gaddafi and Khalifa Haftar in the race.
Libya’s first-ever direct presidential poll is scheduled for December 24.
Dbeibah was said to have signed documents at the electoral commission in the capital Tripoli, in footage broadcast live by state television, the day before the deadline for registration.
“It is a historic and decisive day. I came for the homeland and the unity of the homeland,” said Dbeibah, the 57th candidate to register for the vote.
“We have started this journey together, we will end it together,” he added, promising “no more wars.”
Both presidential and legislative polls had been slated for 24 December, however, in early October parliament split the dates of the vote by postponing legislative elections until January.
‘Electoral law stipulates that candidates must not hold official posts three months before the vote,’ Claudia Gazzini, International Crisis Group
Later that month, parliament passed a no-confidence vote in Dbeibah’s government.
According to Claudia, that move, could work in Dbeibah’s favour because he was not supposed to make a bid for the presidency.
“He had promised during negotiations with the UN that he would not be a candidate and the electoral law stipulates that candidates must not hold official posts three months before the vote,” Gazzini said, speaking to AFP news agency.
“Based on certain legal interpretations, he has been (de facto) suspended from his post by the no-confidence vote,” she added.
On Saturday, Dbeibah denounced a “tailor-made” electoral law ratified by Saleh – who like Haftar had quit his official post in September in order to vie for the presidency.
Libya expert Jalel Harchaoui told AFP that Dbeibah’s candidacy is bound to have a “huge psychological impact on his opponents”.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Libyans protested in Tripoli on Friday against “war criminals” running in next month’s presidential election.
Demonstrators stamped on posters of Haftar and Seif al-Islam and voiced anger over the controversial electoral law.