Former Libyan ruler Gaddafi’s son runs for president

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The son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi appeared on Sunday to vote in December to register as a presidential candidate for the first time in nearly a decade, to help end his years of chaos Can you father was dropped,

Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, 49, appeared in an election commission video in a traditional brown robe and turban, and with a gray beard and glasses, signing documents at the election center in the southern city of Sebha.

Gaddafi is expected to run for the most prominent – and controversial – president, a list that also includes eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar, Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dabiba and parliament speaker Aguila Saleh.

However, while his name is one of the most famous in Libya, and although he once played a major role in shaping the policy 2011 NATO-backed insurgency The one that destroyed his family’s rule has hardly been seen for a decade.

His formal entry into an election, the rules of which are still contested by rival factions of Libya, may also cast new questions on a contest that has featured candidates seen as unacceptable in some regions.

Despite public support from most Libyan factions and foreign powers for elections to be held on 24 December, the vote remains in doubt as rival entities dispute rules and timelines.

Read also: Libyan court sentences Gaddafi’s son, eight aides to death

A major convention in Paris agreed on Friday to approve anyone who obstructs or halts the vote, but with less than six weeks to go, there is still no agreement on rules to govern who. Must be able to walk.

While Gaddafi is likely to play nostalgia for the era before the NATO-backed uprising of 2011, which ousted his father from power and started a decade of chaos and violence, analysts say he is the frontrunner. Those cannot be proved.

The Gaddafi era is still remembered by many Libyans as a harsh autocracy, while Saif al-Islam and other former regime figures have been out of power for so long, it is difficult for them to garner as much support as major rivals. It is possible.

Muammar al-Gaddafi was captured outside his hometown of Sirte in October 2011 and briefly by opposition fighters. shot, Saif al-Islam was captured a few days later by fighters in the mountainous Zintan region as he tried to flee Libya to Niger.

More than a decade later, Saif al-Islam is now a cipher for Libyans. Xintan fighters kept him out of public view for years and his views on the crisis are not known.

he gave an interview to new York Times earlier this year, but has not yet publicly spoken directly to Libyans.

Complicating his presidential ambitions, Gaddafi was tried in absentia by a Tripoli court in 2015, in which he appeared via videolink to Zintan, and which accused him of war crimes, including the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising. was sentenced to death for.

He could face arrest or other threats if he appears in public in the capital, Tripoli. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court.

Educated at the London School of Economics and a fluent English speaker, Saif al-Islam was once seen by many governments as an acceptable, Western-friendly face and potential successor to Libya.

but when a rebellion broke out Against the long regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Saif al-Islam quickly chose family and clan loyalty over many of his friendships in the West, stating that Reuters Television: “We fight here in Libya; We die here in Libya.”