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A rebel fighter holds a Kingdom of Libya flag and a knife during shelling by soldiers loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in a battle near Ras Lanuf, March 4, 2011.

REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

What We’re Watching: Libya’s future, Azeris and Iranians bicker, Shakira fights wild boars

Will Libya's elections go ahead? Should they? Libya, mired in a decade-long civil war, is set to hold elections for a new president and parliament later this year. The US, along with Italy and France, say that elections should go ahead no matter what. But other Western players have pushed back, saying that ongoing civil war means the country isn't yet ready for democracy, and the result of an election won't be deemed legitimate. Meanwhile, an estimated 10,000-20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries are still lurking in Libya, mostly deployed by Russia and Turkey, neither of which are in any hurry to recall their mercs, perhaps just in case the election doesn't work out and Libya slides back into civil war. Complicating matters further, last week the lower house of parliament passed a no-confidence vote against the UN-backed government over misuse of public funds. The interim government has been accused of stalling elections, instead calling for a "stabilization initiative" that would help lay the groundwork for a free and fair vote later on. But that is unlikely to fly with general Khalifa Hafta, who heads the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army and has long been vying for control of the oil-rich country.

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