Israeli firm to advise Libyan presidential rivals: report

Israeli firm set to advise Libya presidential rivals as election nears: report
2 min read
29 October, 2021
The same Israeli consulting firm has reportedly been hired by the two main rivals in Libya's presidential election - General Khalifa Haftar and Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
Libya's elections are scheduled to take place on December 24 [Getty-file photo]

Two rivals in Libya’s first presidential election have hired the same Israeli firm to run their respective election campaigns, an Israeli media outlet reported on Tuesday.

General Khalifa Haftar and Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, will likely be frontrunners in the election, set for 24 December.

Both candidates separately reached out to an Israeli consulting firm specialized in running political campaigns according to Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom. The outlet did not name the firm.

The newspaper alleged that the firm had to register a new branch in the United Arab Emirates so that it could have two separate entities run the campaigns.

The run-up to the December election has been fraught with tension, and observers fear the elections will be delayed as some political actors try to cling to their role in Libya’s transitional government.

Registration of candidates for Libya’s elections will open next month, an electoral commission official said earlier this week.

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Haftar, a former leader in Muammar Gaddafi's military, controls most of eastern Libya. He has so far resisted efforts to place his forces under the authority of Dbeibah's Government of National Unity, as stipulated in the October 2020 peace agreement signed by rival Libyan factions.

Said Al-Islam Gaddafi was formerly hailed by some in the West a potential reformist and heir to his father.

However, during the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011, he joined his father’s crackdown on protesters and was captured by rebels. 

During his detention, Gaddafi was sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Tripoli over the killing of protestors. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity.