Court says son of Muammar Gaddafi can contest presidential election in Libya

2 December 2021, 20:14

Seif al-Islam Gaddafi speaks to the media at a press conference (Ben Curtis/AP)
Mideast Libya. Picture: PA

A court in the southern province of Sabha ruled in Seif al-Islam Gaddafi’s favour.

A Libyan court overturned a decision by the country’s top electoral body that disqualified the son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi from running in upcoming presidential elections.

A court in the southern province of Sabha ruled in Seif al-Islam Gaddafi’s favour, Libyan media outlets reported.

For almost a week prior, the court had failed to convene to decide on the appeal after the building was surrounded by armed men who preventing judges from entering.

Seif al-Islam, once the heir-apparent to his father, appealed against the decision last week by Libya’s High National Elections Committee that barred him because of past convictions against him for using violence against protesters.

The first round of voting is meant to start on December 24, though a number of divisive issues need to be resolved before then.

It remains unclear whether any further legal challenges could be made to Seif al-Islam’s candidacy.

The elections come after years of UN-led attempts to usher in a more democratic future and end the country’s civil war.

Libya has been wracked by chaos since a Nato-backed uprising toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Then  Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi meeting Gordon Brown (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi meeting Gordon Brown (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The oil-rich nation had for years been split between a government in the east, backed by powerful commander Khalifa Hifter, and a UN-supported administration in Tripoli, aided by western-based Libyan militias.

Each side has also had the support of mercenaries and foreign forces from Turkey, Russia and Syria and different regional powers.

Seif al-Islam had been sentenced to death by a Tripoli court in 2015 for using violence against protesters in the 2011 uprising against his father, though that ruling has since been called into question by Libya’s rival authorities.

He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity related to the uprising.

The upcoming vote faces many challenges, including unresolved issues over laws governing the elections and occasional infighting among armed groups.

Other obstacles include the deep rift that remains between the country’s east and west and the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and troops.

The oil-rich North African county is currently governed by an interim government that was elected by Libyan delegates after UN-led talks in Geneva in February.

Several other high-profile presidential hopefuls have filed their candidacy documents, including Mr Hifter, and the country’s interim prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.

In recent days, local courts have been looking into several appeals against candidates.

Also on Thursday, the country’s high election commission said that armed men had attacked four different polling stations in Azizia town and one in the capital, Tripoli.

The commission said they stole or destroyed over 2,000 voting cards, that eligible voters are expected to carry on the election day.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Boris Johnson and Vladimir Putin will speak over the phone this weekend.

Boris to call Putin and visit Eastern Europe to 'ramp up deterrence' amid Ukraine crisis

Katherine Zappone appointment

‘Landing zones’ for deal on NI protocol, says Irish Foreign Minister

Coronavirus – Fri Jun 5, 2020

Omicron drives US deaths higher than Delta wave

Bridge collapses in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Rescuers form human chain to save people from bus dangling off collapsed bridge in US


Biden visits scene of collapsed bridge in Pittsburgh

Joe Exotic

Tiger King star Joe Exotic sentenced to 21 years in prison

Kyle Rittenhouse

Judge approves agreement to destroy gun used by Kyle Rittenhouse

Vladimir Putin

Russia says US ignored its security demands over Ukraine

Taylor Swift

Man held after ‘crashing into Taylor Swift’s building and trying to get inside’

Bridge Collapse Pittsburgh

Human chain formed to rescue bus passengers after US bridge collapse

Ukraine Tensions

Russia says it won’t start a war as Ukraine tensions mount

Greece Whale

Divers bid to recue young whale stranded in shallow water off Athens

Belarus President

Belarus leader Lukashenko tells opposition leaders: ‘Repent and kneel’

Biden cat

Cat call: Bidens welcome new pet named Willow to the White House

Joe Biden

Road bridge collapses in Pittsburgh hours ahead of Biden visit

Thailand Oil Spill

Oil spill expected to hit beaches on Thailand coast