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Saif Al-Islam, Son Of former Libyan Ruler Gaddafi, Runs For President



Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libyan chief Muammar Gaddafi.


The son of Libya’s late dictator Muammar Gaddafi appeared for almost the primary time in a decade on Sunday to register as a presidential candidate for a December vote deliberate to assist finish the years of chaos since his father was toppled.

Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, 49, appeared in an electoral fee video in conventional brown gown and turban, and with a gray beard and glasses, signing paperwork on the election centre within the southern city of Sebha.

Gaddafi is without doubt one of the most outstanding – and controversial – figures anticipated to run for president, an inventory that additionally contains japanese army commander Khalifa Haftar, Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah and parliament speaker Aguila Saleh.

However, whereas his identify is without doubt one of the finest identified in Libya, and although he as soon as performed a serious position in shaping coverage earlier than the 2011 NATO-backed rebellion 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 may additionally forged new questions over a contest that options candidates seen in some areas as unacceptable.

Despite the general public backing of most Libyan factions and international powers for elections on Dec. 24, the vote stays doubtful as rival entities bicker over the principles 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 of run.

While Gaddafi is more likely 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.

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

Muammar al-Gaddafi was captured exterior his hometown of Sirte by opposition fighters in Oct. 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.


Just 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 aren’t identified.

He gave an interview to the New York Times earlier this 12 months, however has not but made any public look talking on to Libyans.

Complicating his presidential ambitions, Gaddafi was tried in absentia in 2015 by a Tripoli courtroom at which he appeared through videolink from Zintan, and which sentenced him to dying for warfare crimes together with killing protesters in the course of the 2011 revolt.

He would doubtless face arrest or different risks if he appeared publicly within the capital Tripoli. He can be wished by the International Criminal Court.

Educated on the London School 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.

But when a insurrection broke out in 2011 towards Muammar Gaddafi’s lengthy rule, Saif al-Islam instantly selected household and clan loyalties over his many friendships within the West, telling Reuters tv: “We fight here in Libya; we die here in Libya”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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