By Vanessa Tomassini.
He won the appeal after the preliminary exclusion by the National High Electoral Commission (HNEC) and is officially back in the race for Libya presidency. During his long career, he has held responsibility positions; he was the head of the Libyan Islamic Society promoting culture and dialogue. He has always worked against exclusion and marginalization. His slogan is “Libya, homeland for everyone“. We are talking about Dr Mohamed Ahmed Al-Sharif. Let’s find out more about him in this interview.
First of all, let me thank you Dr Sharif, for accepting this interview. What is your vision and mission if you will be elected president of Libya?
“We will work to bring all Libyans together of all orientations under an independent and democratic state in accordance with the foundations of social justice and the principle of equal opportunities to build a bright future that stems from a positive and effective present”.
What are the most important priorities of your political program?
“Our goal is to get Libya out of this crisis and from this tunnel, according to an integrated work program with the contribution of all Libyan expertise in developing programs and plans, without excluding or marginalising anyone. Our motto is the homeland for all and by all.”
What actions do you think are necessary to restore the Libyan economy?
“First, we will take urgent measures to address the deteriorating economic and living situation of the ordinary citizens, and this is a priority that we consider extremely important because it is related to the daily life of the citizen and must be addressed in an urgent manner. On the other hand, we have an integrated national project. The economic aspect is included in this project, where we rely on scientific plans in which Libyan experts participated, who have the scientific experience that qualifies them to do so.”
What will your actions be in support of young people to prevent them from taking up arms, prevent radicalization and promote integration and respect for minorities?
“We view society as a single unit and rely on well-studied scientific plans to advance society as a whole. When young people get real opportunities for work and quality education and have the opportunity to participate effectively in development plans, this will make them stay away from weapons, and they will have no time. A negative vacuum may be exploited by advocates of terrorism and extremism or advocates of war and armed conflict because the youth is an active force characterised by awareness and will not leave the process of construction to organise the chorus of destruction.”
What is your position on national reconciliation?
“Reconciliation is the goal, demand and purpose of all Libyans. All Libyans want reconciliation and seek to achieve it. We believe that reconciliation must be general and comprehensive, as it must be in the institutions of the judiciary, justice, security institutions, and institutions of civil society. Also, it must include the fulfilment of truth and the redress of grievances. Reparation and the release of all prisoners, of conflict and otherwise, prisoners of opinions and conscience, and it must include everyone without marginalisation. I believe that after the presidential and parliamentary elections, there will be a comprehensive Libyan vision that gathers all Libyans to agree with each other to reach safety.”
Looking at the large number of candidates, most of them are already building alliances for the second round. Who – among the other presidential candidates – you consider as an ally?
“We are not in the position of naming anyone because we consider that all candidates are the sons of this nation and seek to serve it and lead it to better places. We are in the process of building the country and addressing its political, economic and social problems and advancing it. In the future, after the Libyan people choose us for the presidency, we will not exclude anyone, nor will we marginalise anyone. Instead, we will leave the door open for everyone to build the state and advance society.”
Are there any countries that support your candidacy?
“First, I am an independent candidate and do not represent any political or party orientation. My candidacy for the presidency came in response to the demands and desires of more than a political and social organisation, including national parties, tribal sheikhs, dignitaries and dignitaries of cities, towns and regions. To get the country out of its current crisis, I ran for this position independently, and I did not ask, do not ask, and will not ask for any support from any foreign party or other countries. It is enough for me to support my compatriots of all their political and social spectrum, as they are concerned with this entitlement first and foremost.”
What is your position regarding the withdrawal of mercenaries, fighters and foreign forces from Libya?
“We call for the independence of Libya and its political decision and the absence of any foreign forces or mercenaries on Libyan soil.”
How do you see the policies of Russia and Turkey in Libya? And the United States?
“We base our foreign policy with everyone on the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit, and equals.”
Who do you think are the main elections’ spoilers? And who you believe would not accept the election results?
“This is considered a celebration to all Libyans, and all of them are willing to participate in these elections and get Libya out of this dark tunnel. And therefore, all Libyan patriots support the elections, contribute to their success, and engage in the democratic process.”
What do you think of the election law approved by the Libyan parliament headed by Aguila Saleh?
“All the candidates who reached these elections accepted this law, which was approved by the House of Representatives. Everyone agreed and accepted that law”.
What does Justice mean to you?
“Justice is the realisation of truth and the redress of grievances. We look to the future and to build Libya, get it out of the political and economic impasse, advance its economy and raise the standard of living of its members. We also strive to separate powers and the independence of the judiciary. We believe in the independence of the court and leave this matter to justice and the law authorities in Libya.”