The Wall Street Journal said that Khalifa Haftar’s entrance to the election race in Libya is likely to further polarize the country, saying while he enjoys some support among residents of eastern Libya who credit him with restoring security, he is opposed by many Libyans including people in Tripoli who endured more than a year of shelling by his militias.
Khalifa Haftar said Tuesday that he plans to run for president as he attempts to take political control of the entire country after a failed military campaign to seize the capital from April 2019 to June 2020.
Haftar’s announcement comes just days after Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of Libya’s slain dictator, launched his own presidential campaign.
Haftar claimed he is not seeking power but is looking to lead my people toward prosperity, adding, in a short televised statement broadcast from Benghazi after he submitted the paperwork for his candidacy, that Libya will be in safe hands if he is elected. He also promised to bring national reconciliation and unity to the country and urged Libyans to vote for him.