Khaled Al-Mishri, the chairman of the High Council of State, has threatened to ignite violence in Libya’s western region of Tripolitania if Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), wins the upcoming presidential elections.
Al-Mishri, who is one of the leading figures of the Libyan branch of the infamous Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood, spoke on with Doha-based Al-Jazeera in an interview that aired last Thursday.
During the interview, Al-Mishri was asked what would happen if Haftar wins the elections, to which he replied, “the western region will resist with armed force”.
Al-Mishri alleged that Haftar will forge nearly 400,000 votes in the eastern region of Cyrenaica, which is enough to allow to pass into the second round of the presidential elections.
He anticipated that pro-Gaddafi Libyans living in the western region are likely to side with Haftar in the second round if he were to face another candidate such as former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.
“If Haftar becomes president, it would be impossible for him to control the western region, which is highly populated, because of the bloody war he waged,” Al-Mishri said in reference to the LNA’s 2019-20 military campaign in western Libya.
Despite threatening post-elections violence, he acknowledged that not recognizing Haftar as president, if he wins, will deepen the divisions in Libya and bring the country back to war.
Al-Mishri also expressed skepticism about holding the elections on December 24 as scheduled due to his council’s dispute with the House of Representatives over electoral laws.