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

Former US president Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower, late on Tuesday August 9 2022, in New York

Donald Trump arrives to give evidence in New York investigation

Taiwan’s military conducts artillery live-fire drills at Fangshan township in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, Tuesday, August 9, 2022

China appears to wind down threatening war games near Taiwan

People line up to enter an H&M shop and buy items on sale in the Aviapark shopping centre in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday August 9 2022

Russians buy last goods from H&M and Ikea as stores wind down

Tom Daley blames 'legacy of colonialism' for homophobia in the Commonwealth

Tom Daley blames British Empire's legacy of colonialism' for homophobic laws in Commonwealth nations

France Whale in Seine

Beluga whale stranded in French river dies, authorities say

Rising smoke can be seen from the beach at Saky after explosions were heard from the direction of a Russian military airbase near Novofedorivka, Crimea

Ukraine says nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in Crimea blasts

French police shoot dead knifeman in Charles de Gaulle airport

Knifeman shot dead by police in packed terminal at Paris's biggest airport

Russia Ukraine

Large explosions rock Russian air base in Crimea

Chinese officials shared images from social media site Weibo of the Chinese military drills.

China's new invasion threat as it warns it is 'ready to use all necessary measures' to retake Taiwan

This photo released Tuesday, August 9, 2022, by the Albuquerque Police Department shows Muhammad Syed, 51, who was taken into custody on Monday in connection with the killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, over the last nine months

‘Motive unclear’ as man charged with killing fellow Muslims in Albuquerque

Yaser Said walks into the courtroom for his trial, Tuesday, August 9, 2022, in the Frank Crowley Criminal Courts Building in Dallas

‘Abusive’ father who evaded police for 12 years convicted of killing daughters

Albuquerque Muslim Killings

Man charged with killing two Muslim men in US city

Emmett Till

Grand jury declines to indict woman whose accusation set off lynching in 1955

Albuquerque Muslim Killings

‘Primary suspect’ held over killings of Muslim men in New Mexico

Israel Palestinians

Militants killed by Israeli troops in West Bank as violence resumes

Kenya Elections

Kenya’s close presidential election draws fewer voters