Several leading actors in eastern Libya appear to have launched bids for the prospective presidential elections in 2018. There are new populist moves in Benghazi to ‘nominate’ Khalifa Haftar for the presidency. Aref Nayed, a wealthy Libyan diplomat who serves as ambassador to the UAE, appeared to launch his own presidential bid with the launch his new project, Ihya Libya, that outlines his vision for the country going forward. Another potential candidate is Basit Igtit, a Libyan-Swiss magnate who is perceived to be closely aligned with the Islamist-affiliated ‘revolutionary’ factions in Tripoli and eastern Libya. He called on Libyans to support him by demonstrating in Tripoli on 25 September against the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA), promising sweeping changes and international support to the demonstrators
On 27 August, Mustafa Abu Shagour, a member of the House of Representatives (HoR) from Souq al-Jumaa (an area of east Tripoli) announced his resignation from the HoR in a Facebook video post. He cited the HoR’s actions to block political progress and reluctance to move forward with amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) as a major reason for his resignation. He added a personal dig at HoR president Ageelah Saleh, whom he accuses of hijacking the parliament.