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Libya: Gaddafi’s son bids for presidency

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libya’s former strongman Muammar Gaddafi has made an official bid to run for president when the country goes to the polls on December 24, 2021.Footage of him appeared on Sunday apparently registering to contest the Libyan presidency, which would be the first direct election to choose the country’s next leader. 

Donning traditional Libyan attire, he is seen sitting in front of a poster as he register himself as a candidate.

Looking into a camera, Saif who was his father’s favourite successor for the country’s leadership quoted Koran verses, imploring Libyans to judge who was the best contenders in the name of truth. 

Saif  al-Islam Gaddafi was accused and tried over his role in the killing of protesters during the Libyan uprising which eventually overthrew his father in 2011.

He had been under the custody of a militia for six years, during which he was tried, and sentenced to death, a ruling which was later overturned.  

49-year old Saif lives in the northwestern town of Zintan.

He is still seen as a divisive figure in Libyan politics and his bid to run for the presidency may further complicate Libya’s electoral challenges.

There are fears that the ongoing instability in the country which has lasted for ten years after Muammar Gaddafi was killed could undermine the poll’s credibility. 

Many rights campaigners “do not trust the political climate as conducive to holding a free and fair election. 

Published on 03.01.2023

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