The son of murdered Libyan dictator announces candidacy for the presidency

The son and former heir apparent of the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi announced his candidacy in the country’s presidential elections next month on Sunday, according to the Libyan electoral agency.

Seif al-Islam presented documentation of his candidacy in the southern city of Sabah, the agency said in a statement.

Gaddafi’s son was captured by fighters in late 2011, when a popular uprising toppled his father after more than 40 years in power. Moammar Gaddafi was later assassinated amid fighting that escalated into a civil war.

In a video posted by the electoral agency where he registered, Seif al-Islam looked at the camera and said that God would decide the right path for the future of the country. He wore a traditional Libyan robe, turban, and glasses.

Seif al-Islam was released in June 2017 after more than five years in detention, and in July he told The New York Times in an exclusive interview that he was considering running for president. Libya is scheduled to hold presidential elections on December 24, after years of United Nations-led attempts to push for a more democratic system and end the war.

The long-awaited vote still faces challenges, such as unresolved questions about electoral laws and occasional fighting between armed groups. Other obstacles include the deep division that persists between the east and west of the country, divided by years of war and the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and troops.

The dictator Gaddafi had eight children, most of whom held relevant positions in his regime. His son Muatassim was killed along with his father. Two other sons, Seif al-Arab and Khamis, had previously been killed in the uprising. Another son, Al-Saadi Gaddafi, was released in September after more than seven years in detention in the capital, Tripoli, following his extradition from neighboring Niger.

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