Wed, Jan

Gaddafi To Contest For December 24 Presidential Election

Africa News

Son of Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has registered as a presidential candidate for the December 24 poll. Gaddafi is one of the most prominent figures expected to run for president – a list that also includes renegade eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh. According to the electoral commission, “Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi submitted … his candidacy for the presidential election to the High National Electoral Commission office in the [southern] city of Sebha,”

Despite the public backing of most Libyan factions and foreign powers for elections on December 24, the vote is still in doubt as rival entities squabble over the rules and schedule.

A major conference in Paris on Friday agreed to sanction those who disrupt or prevent the vote, but there is still no agreement on rules to govern who should be able to run.

The elections are envisaged as a key moment in a United Nations-backed peace process to end a decade of violent chaos that has drawn in regional powers since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi. 

The London School of Economics alumni and fluent English speaker was tried in absentia in 2015 by a Tripoli court at which he appeared via videolink from Zintan. He was sentenced to death for war crimes, including the killing of protesters during the uprising a decade ago, but was later pardoned. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.