Report: The Libyan interim leader ‘agreed in principle’ to run for president

Libyan interim leader Fayez Seraj has “agreed in principle” to run for president if the people of Libya want him to. Seraj said that he has accepted two earlier promises that he would run…

Report: The Libyan interim leader ‘agreed in principle’ to run for president

Libyan interim leader Fayez Seraj has “agreed in principle” to run for president if the people of Libya want him to.

Seraj said that he has accepted two earlier promises that he would run for president, reports the Associated Press. The first was not to say whether he would run; the second was to make sure he became the “chairman of the National Army.”

“We have agreed in principle to both promises; then, we will only see what will happen,” he said.

The presidency is held by Seraj, who was chosen in a conference in Egypt. The Libya Dawn alliance, which is led by Seraj’s Misrata province, now controls most of Tripoli, the country’s capital, and Zintan, which controls much of the eastern half of the country.

The council has rejected a power-sharing deal brokered by the United Nations and Egyptian leaders and promoted the idea of Seraj running for president.

The showdown between the country’s factions has led to clashes between military forces loyal to the rivals, and Libya’s internationally recognized government has been unable to respond to those attacks because it was driven from Tripoli.

The African Union and the United Nations have sought a solution through the talks in Geneva, but Seraj’s comments appear to have stalled those negotiations.

Libya has been in turmoil since the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Armed groups fighting for control of its oil resources and the interior have had little compunction about using rape and other forms of violence. At least 600,000 people have been displaced or forced to flee since the 2011 uprising.

Tens of thousands of Libyans are still trapped on a half-mile high landfill in Tripoli, where they seek refuge. On Monday, at least 600 Libyans remain there, including 50 families.

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