Postcard from... Tripoli


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The Independent Online

Mohamed Ali, a Libyan civil servant, has put on his business card a picture of the man he thinks can save his country – Egypt’s new strongman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Libya is preparing for elections next month, but many Libyans have long given up on their own parties, paralysed by political infighting three years after the civil war that brought down Muammar Gaddafi.

Instead, Libyans look to Egypt where the former army chief is expected to win this week’s presidential elections.

Tired of militias and Islamist militants filling a power vacuum left by five weak prime ministers since 2011, many see the revival of strongman rule in Egypt as their dream scenario.

“Our politicians only think of their personal agenda. We wish we had someone like al-Sisi,” said Mr Ali who uploaded Field Marshal Sisi’s picture on to his mobile phone.

In cafes across the desert country and on social media, admiration for Mr al-Sisi has become a major talking point.

Libyans have long looked to Egypt for orientation. Many government officials, intellectuals and business people have graduated from universities in Cairo or lived there. And many are hoping Mr al-Sisi will boost security cooperation with Libya, which has made little progress in building up an army and police force. REUTERS