Explosions Rock Tripoli Election Commission: Who’s Trying to Prevent the Vote?

by | May 2, 2018


To underscore the dire situation in Libya and the extent to which extremists will go, on Wednesday at around noon two huge explosions occurred at the HNEC, the Higher National Election Commission’s HQ, in Tripoli, killing over 15 people and wounding many more. The attack suggests that fanatics may be concerned over the rising popularity of Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar and fear that the controversial Haftar could win in the upcoming elections. They may be seeking to derail the vote. If so, their gambit may have the opposite effect: it could actually galvanize Libyan support for elections as a way out of the current political chaos and conundrum.

No doubt a contributing factor to this tragic bombing was the return on Thursday of Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar from a Paris hospital, via Cairo, to Libya on a proverbial “white horse” seen by some to be a drama giving an appearance of a triumphant return to Libya.

Recovered after two weeks of alleged illness, which was much exaggerated by the media and by those hoping, like the UN, to see the back of him.

If as widely reported he was on death’s door, he would not have smiled for the bevy of photographers and TV cameras, even laughing and joking as he was met by dignitaries at the airport in Benghazi following his flight arrival from Cairo.

Haftar gave a brief televised statement at Benina Airport, starting with:

I want to reassure you that I am in good health…. I should be addressing you standing up but I am obliged to do so sitting down…. I won’t respond to those promoting rumors about my health, and you are not responsible for them. But there are those who will answer for them in the appropriate way.

The next week or or two will be telling. it’s believed there is a chance for an eventual end of this civil war through Haftar’s consolidation of power in Libya coupled with a potential offensive on one of the last bastions of power in the hands of extremist jihadists, Derna.

An important indirect factor, which does have an effect on the public, will be the approach of the month long Ramadan starting around mid-May.

A further development last Monday, also in light of Haftar’s return to Libya, was the announcement from Aguila Saleh, the Speaker of Libya’s Tobruk based parliament, the House of Representatives (HoR), calling for presidential elections to be held between September and December. This was quickly publicly supported internationally by both France and Egypt. Others are expected to follow.

Aguila Salah added that such an election would use the former constitution as a basis, not the UN-backed and promoted Libyan Political Agreement (LPA).

The US and UK have wanted regime change in Syria and all over the Middle East. We can thank Gen. Wesley Clark for that information. Many Arabs jokingly cry, “how about the US and UK have a regime change!”

A bizarre statement the other day by long time neocon John Bolton when talking about the Korean Peninsular, who said incredibly publicly he sees Libya as a “disarmament model.” Was Bolton’s intention to encourage and inspire the North Korean leader Kim somehow?

You can’t make this stuff up!

American and Western Foreign Policy has officially descended into a farce.

Today’s Tripoli bombing is just the opening shot by those determined to keep Libya a failed chaotic State. Time will tell if elections take place by end year or anarchy prevails in Libya.


  • Richard Galustian

    Richard Galustian is a senior consultant to several international corporations involved in Libya and the greater Middle East and North Africa.