Libya’s former interior minister registers for presidential bid

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Libya’s former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha registered as a presidential candidate on Thursday for a planned December election that remains in doubt amid disputes over the rules.

Bashagha was the influential interior minister in the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) that ruled in western areas and was replaced in March by a new unity government.

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He joins a field of prospective candidates that includes late ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar, and the eastern-based parliament speaker Aguila Saleh.

A UN-backed peace process calls for presidential and parliamentary elections on Dec. 24, but there has been no widespread agreement on the legal basis for the vote.

Disputes between rival factions and political entities have focused on questions over who should be allowed to run, the eventual role of the directly elected president and the voting schedule.

Analysts say the arguments surrounding the elections threaten to derail the peace process, whether the vote goes ahead or not.

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