Son of former Libyan ruler Gadhafi runs for president

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, 49, appeared in an electoral fee video in conventional brown gown and turban, and with a grey beard and glasses, signing paperwork on the election middle within the southern city of Sebha.
Gadhafi is among the most outstanding — and controversial — figures anticipated to run for president, an inventory that additionally consists of jap navy commander Khalifa Haftar, Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah and parliament speaker Aguila Saleh.
Nevertheless, whereas his identify is among the finest identified in Libya, and although he as soon as performed a significant function in shaping coverage earlier than the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that destroyed his household’s regime, he has barely been seen for a decade.

His formal entry into an election whose guidelines are nonetheless contested by Libya’s squabbling factions might also forged new questions over a contest that options candidates seen in some areas as unacceptable.

Regardless of the general public backing of most Libyan factions and overseas powers for elections on December 24, the vote stays doubtful as rival entities bicker over the foundations and schedule.

A serious convention in Paris on Friday agreed to sanction any who disrupt or stop the vote, however with lower than six weeks to go, there may be nonetheless no settlement on guidelines to control who ought to be capable to run.

Whereas Gadhafi is prone to play on nostalgia for the period earlier than the 2011 NATO-backed rebellion that swept his father from energy and ushered in a decade of chaos and violence, analysts say he could not show to be a entrance runner.

Saif al-Islam remains a cipher to Libyans as the Zintan fighters kept him hidden for years, and his views on the country's crisis are not known.

The Gadhafi period continues to be remembered by many Libyans as one in all harsh autocracy, whereas Saif al-Islam and different former regime figures have been out of energy for thus lengthy they might discover it troublesome to mobilize as a lot help as main rivals.

Moammar Gadhafi was captured exterior his hometown of Sirte by opposition fighters in October 2011 and summarily shot. Saif al-Islam was seized days later by fighters from the mountainous Zintan area as he tried to flee Libya for Niger.

Simply over a decade later, Saif al-Islam is now one thing of a cipher for Libyans. The Zintan fighters saved him for years out of public sight and his views on the disaster usually are not identified.

He gave an interview to the New York Occasions earlier this yr, however has not but made any public look talking on to Libyans.

Complicating his presidential ambitions, Gadhafi was tried in absentia in 2015 by a Tripoli court at which he appeared through videolink from Zintan, and which sentenced him to dying for battle crimes together with killing protesters throughout the 2011 revolt.
He would doubtless face arrest or different risks if he appeared publicly within the capital Tripoli. He’s additionally needed by the International Criminal Court.

Educated on the London College of Economics and a fluent English speaker, Saif al-Islam was as soon as seen by many governments as the appropriate, Western-friendly face of Libya, and a potential inheritor obvious.

However when a revolt broke out in 2011 in opposition to Moammar Gadhafi’s lengthy rule, Saif al-Islam instantly selected household and clan loyalties over his many friendships within the West, telling Reuters tv: “We battle right here in Libya; we die right here in Libya.”

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