Gaddafi’s son announces his candidacy for president of Libya
Cairo – The Libyan Electoral Agency, the son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and his former crown prince, announced, on Sunday, his candidacy for the presidential elections in the country next month.
Saif al-Islam, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity related to the 2011 uprising, presented his nomination papers in the southern city of Sebha, 650 kilometers (400 miles) south of the capital, Tripoli. The High National Elections Commission said in a statement.
Fighters arrested Gaddafi’s son in late 2011, the year a popular uprising toppled his father after more than 40 years in power. Muammar Gaddafi was later killed in the ensuing fighting that turned into a civil war.
In a video posted by an election official, Saif al-Islam addressed the camera, saying that God would decide the right path for the country’s future. He was wearing a traditional Libyan dress, turban and glasses. This was the first time in years that Saif al-Islam had appeared in public.
Saif al-Islam was released in June 2017 after more than five years of detention. In July, he told the New York Times in an exclusive interview that he was considering running for a higher position in the country. His candidacy is likely to spark controversy across the country.
Saif al-Islam is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the early weeks of the 2011 uprising.
Libya is set to hold presidential elections on December 24, after years of UN-led attempts to usher in a more democratic future and end the war in the country. After Gaddafi was toppled and killed, oil-rich Libya has spent most of the past decade between rival governments – one based in the capital, Tripoli, and the other in the eastern part of the country.
The announcement came after an international conference in Paris on Friday expressed support for holding “free, fair, inclusive and credible presidential and parliamentary elections” on December 24.
The long-awaited vote continues to face challenges, including outstanding issues over election laws and infighting between armed groups. Other obstacles include the deep rift that still exists between the east and west of the country, which has been divided for years by the war, and the presence of thousands of fighters and foreign forces.
Gaddafi the dictator had eight children, most of whom played important roles in his regime. His son Mutassim was killed at the same time that Gaddafi was captured and killed. Two other sons, Seif al-Arab and Khamis, were killed earlier in the uprising. Another son, Saadi Gaddafi, was released in September after more than seven years of detention in the capital, Tripoli, after being extradited from neighboring Niger.
Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.