Presidential Libya: rejection of the candidacy of Gaddafi’s son for the presidential election

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Libya will not be ruled by a new Gaddafi: eleven years after the revolt that ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the country’s electoral authority on Wednesday rejected the candidacy of his youngest son Seif al-Islam for the presidential election scheduled for December 24 .

Wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for “crimes against humanity”, Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, who had presented his candidacy on November 14, is among the 25 candidates whose files were rejected, according to a press release from the High Electoral Commission (HNEC).

The HNEC explained that it had rejected these applications on the basis of several legal texts as well as letters sent to it by the public prosecutor, the head of the criminal police squad and the president of the Department of Passports and Nationality.

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“The names mentioned are excluded from the preliminary list of candidates because they do not meet the required conditions and have not provided all the necessary documents in their files”, affirmed the HNEC.

To justify the exclusion of Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, the HNEC notably invoked articles of the electoral law stipulating that any candidate “must not have been convicted of a dishonorable crime”, and must present a clean criminal record extract.

Captured in November 2011 by an armed group in Zenten in north-western Libya, he was sentenced to death in 2015 after a speedy trial.

Old regime

The same small group had nevertheless refused to deliver him to the authorities or to the ICC, which has been looking for him since 2011 for “crimes against humanity”.

The group released him in 2017 and his trace was lost.

To everyone’s surprise, Seif al-Islam, 49, filed his case in Sebha (south), one of three nomination centers, along with Tripoli (west) and Benghazi (east).

The next day, dignitaries from several cities called for a boycott of the presidential election and several polling stations closed in the west of the country under pressure from groups hostile to the candidacy.

The culmination of a laborious process sponsored by the UN, the presidential election of December 24 and the legislative elections scheduled for a month later are supposed to turn the page on a decade of chaos and fratricidal struggles since the fall of the slain Muammar Gaddafi regime. in 2011 during a popular revolt.

The HNEC announced Tuesday, the day after the closing of the submission of candidatures, that 98 candidates, including two women, had submitted their files to run for the post of head of state.

Among the most prominent candidates are Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who controls de facto eastern and part of southern Libya, the influential ex-Minister of the Interior, Fathi Bachagha, and the head of the interim government, Abdelhamid. Dbeibah.

The files of the latter three have been validated, HNEC announced on Wednesday.

In addition to Seif al-Islam, other figures of the Gaddafi regime are on the list of excluded candidates, including the former secretary and financier of the late leader, Bashir Saleh, and one of his former spokespersons, Khaled Kaïm. .

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