Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Son of former ruler among 25 of the 98 registered presidential candidates disqualified from running in the December 24 election.

Libya’s electoral commission said Saif al – Islam Gaddafi, the son of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, was not eligible to run in the country’s planned presidential election in December.

Gaddafi was one of 25 candidates disqualified by the commission on Wednesday in an initial decision pending an appeal process that will eventually be decided by the judiciary. About 98 Libyans registered as candidates.

The military prosecutor in Tripoli has urged the commission to exclude Gaddafi after his conviction in absentia on charges of war crimes in 2015 for his part in fighting the uprising that his late father removed in 2011.

Gaddafi appeared at the time via Zintan video link where he was detained by fighters who captured him as he tried to escape Libya after his father’s overthrow. He denied injustice.

Two other well-known candidates, Ali Zeidan and Nouri Abusahmain, were also excluded.

Disputes over the election rules, including the legal basis of the December 24 vote and who should be eligible to stand for election, threaten to derail an internationally backed peace process aimed at ending a decade of chaos.

Some of the other candidates initially approved by the commission were also accused of possible transgressions by political rivals.

Interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has vowed not to run as a condition of accepting his current role as president, and did not retire three months before the vote, as required by a contested election law.

Another prominent candidate, the eastern apostate military commander Khalifa Haftar, has U.S. nationality, which could also exclude him. Many people in western Libya also accuse him of war crimes committed during his 2019-20 attack on Tripoli.

Haftar denies war crimes and says he is not a US citizen. Dbeibah described the election rules issued in September by parliamentary speaker Aguila Saleh, who is also a candidate, as “flawed”.

Jan Kubis, United Nations envoy to Libya, who resigned from his post, told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that Libya’s judiciary would make the final decision on the rules and whether candidates would be eligible.

Kubis told the Security Council on Wednesday that he would remain in office until after next month’s election.

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