Eastern Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar said that the popular mandate of the army to take over will be an advanced option, keeping it as an option to intervene if all usual means in the official transformation of authority through transparent elections failed. Yet, he denied his plan to lead a military coup in the country.
Commander Wanis Bukhamada, head of army special forces, declared the liberation of Sidi Akhribish in Benghazi, the last stronghold of extremists in the west of the country. Hours after this announcement, Haftar expressed willingness to play a key role in the parliament in the coming period.
In a surprising statement made on Thursday to Al-Hadath television channel, Haftar hinted at Tobruk-parliament saying that: “We now have a legislative institution that is elected by the people and is concerned with fulfilling this demand – elected parliament.”
He also denied his opposition to the political solution or the obstruction of local and international peace efforts or the refusal of consensus between the Libyans, saying that the General Command of the National Army is exposed to what he described as "malicious propaganda."
Haftar took credit for pushing towards elections as an initial basic solution, noting that there are international parties that don’t wish for elections to be held before they ensure the success of their loyalists, even partially.
Haftar underscored his latest statement saying that Skhirat Agreement has expired on Dec.17 and that the army wouldn't be ruled by any authority unless it was elected by the Libyan people.
Commander Wanis Bukhamada, head of army special forces, stated that the army forces defeated extremists in Sidi Akhribish, announcing the liberation of Benghazi from terrorists and ISIS militants after operations that lasted for more than five months. Bukhamada called other Libyan cities to follow the lead of Benghazi and revolt against extremists.