Gaddafi’s son presents his presidential candidacy

Saif al Islam, son of the deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, presented his official candidacy for the presidential elections scheduled for December on Sunday, an official from the electoral commission reported. while being wanted by the International Criminal Court for “crimes against humanity.”

Saif al Islam, 49, who had been missing for years, appeared at the office of the electoral commission in Sabha (south), one of the three authorized centers along with Tripoli (west) and Benghazi (east), according to images disseminated by local media.

Dressed in a brown abaya (a robe that reaches to the feet) and with a turban of the same color tied to the head in the style of his father, he signed the documents, assisted by his lawyer.

“He presented the documents of his candidacy at the office of the High Electoral Commission in Sabha, thus completing all the legal conditions required by Law number 1 on the election of the head of state, adopted by Parliament,” the commission added in a statement in Facebook. Saif al Islam also received his voter card.

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The presidential elections, the first in the country, They are scheduled for December 24 and the parliamentarians a month later.

At the end of July, Gaddafi’s son had said in an interview with the New York Times that he did not rule out returning to political life in his country.

The elections will be the culmination of a laborious political process sponsored by the United Nations and are expected to end a decade of chaos since the fall of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, assassinated in 2011 in a popular uprising.

They are also expected to put an end to the fratricidal fighting between the two rival sides, one in the west and the other in the east of the country.

Uncertainties

In June 2011, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Saif al Islam “for crimes against humanity” committed during the crackdown on the revolt in Libya.

He was arrested the same year by an armed group in Zenten, in the west of the country. He was sentenced to death four years later by the judicial authorities in Tripoli. But the group refuses to hand it over until 2017.

Read also: They release Saif al Islam, the son of Gaddafi who had been sentenced to death

However, the group never confirmed their release and their trail was lost. The ICC said it had located him in Zenten in late 2019.

“Saif al Islam Gaddafi’s status at the ICC has not changed. According to the notification published in 2011, they are still looking for him, ”Fadi Abdallah, an ICC spokesman, told the Libya al-Ahrar channel.

For the international community, holding elections is essential to carry out a peace process in the country, which has the most abundant oil reserves in Africa. However, the elections remain uncertain, with increasing tensions between rival sides. Following the confirmation of Saif’s candidacy for Islam, questions remain about Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strongman from eastern Libya, and Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah, who led the transitional government.

“It is unfair”

For Wolfram Lacher, Libya expert at the German SWP institute, the candidacy of Seif Al-Islam “presented despite the arrest warrants from the ICC (…) will only further complicate the electoral process.”

On the streets of Tripoli, Nizar al-Hadi, 33, also expressed concern. This is totally unfair! We know what happened in 2011, “he added.

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