The Libyan Address Journal
As the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) is approaching its closure in Tunisia within two days, bringing the voting on the formation of the new Presidential Council and the new government ever closer—the February Channel, the most important media arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, launched another fierce media attack against the prominent Libyan figure and head of the Ihya Libya (Reviving Libya), Dr. Aref Ali Nayed.
In a video promoted on its screen and social media platforms, the February Channel claimed that Nayed was a candidate in the LPDF held in Tunis though his name was only in circulation as a presidential candidate for the upcoming presidential elections since he announced his candidacy in early 2017.
Several reliable Libyan sources from Tunis, however, have interpreted the media attack as malicious and stated that several parties from the three Libyan regions, namely Tripoli, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan, have tabled the name of Nayed today.
Al-Jamahiriya newspaper, which supports the former regime of Muammar Gaddafi, was the first press source to reveal that Nayed’s name began to appear in Tunisia as a solution that balances the Libyan regions and provides a compromise among several different directions.
After more than seven other names were circulated—all from Misrata along with a few other names close to the Muslim Brotherhood—Nayed’s name appeared in the LPDF forum after several political and regional blocs found him as the best solution.
These blocks included the Arab tribes’ bloc from the east, west, and south of the country, the anti-Muslim Brotherhood block, the opponents of the Interior Minister from Misrata, supporters of the former regime, several leading women figures, and university professors.
After the Cyrenaica bloc had been divided into two halves, one of which wanted the presidency for Cyrenaica, while the other half wanted the post of Prime Minister, the Cyrenaica bloc began to gather around the name of Nayed because of his affiliation to the west being from the Wirfalla tribe and the fact that he grew up in Tripoli, but was born in Benghazi. Thus, through Nayed, Cyrenaica can get the post of the President of the Presidential Council, while not risking a Prime Minister who does not care for its interests.
It is noteworthy that the current LPDF witnesses the participation of 75 Libyan figures, selected by the United Nations to represent the current political spectrum, regional interests, and social groups. However, the selections made by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) were met with criticism, especially due to the fact that many of the invited participants belong to the Muslim Brotherhood or their allies—despite the violations they have committed against Libya.
Moreover, the period that preceded the kickoff of the LPDF’s sessions saw a wave of anger and rejection among the Libyan social fabric components because UNSMIL obliged the invited participants to sign a pledge not to assume any leadership positions in the new phase.