Libya: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is presidential candidate in December

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (on the left) came to submit his candidacy for the presidential election to the Libyan High Electoral Commission.

Sunday November 14, 2021. AFP - STRINGER

Text by: David Baché

2 min

The son of the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi officially submitted his candidacy this Sunday, November 14 for the Libyan presidential election scheduled for December 24.

This candidacy of the second son of Muammar Gaddafi is not a surprise as Saif al-Islam had already announced his intentions.

The "sword of Islam", that's what his first name means, is officially back on the Libyan political scene.


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What if Libya reconnects with the Gaddafi? Saif al-Islam, 49, second son of Muammar Gaddafi, has long been presented as the potential successor of the former Libyan guide, for whom he played international emissaries. In an

interview with the New York Times

this summer, he already expressed his political ambitions and his desire to "

restore the lost unity

" of Libya. Making the indisputable observation of a country today "

on its knees, without money and without security

", Saif al-Islam disqualified the protest movement of 2011 which had led to the fall and the assassination of his father: according to it was not a "


" but rather a "

civil war

" and "

dark days



Sentenced to death

After the fall of his father in 2011 Saif al-Islam tries to flee the country.

But he is arrested by a revolutionary brigade which will hold him prisoner until 2017. While protecting him, since his captors refuse to deliver him to the Libyan justice, which sentenced him to death in 2015, as well as to the Criminal Court international, who wants to try him for "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity.

A conviction and an arrest warrant which apparently did not prevent the Libyan High Electoral Commission from validating his candidacy. 

Russian support, threat to Haftar

Released in 2017, Seif al-Islam has been keeping a low profile ever since.

To better prepare for his return.

With the support of Russia, which finances some of its activities, and to the chagrin of Marshal Haftar, whose network of alliances he risks cracking. 

Note that legislative elections must be organized one month after the presidential election.

The hope is that these two elections will allow the country to get out of the state of chaos in which it has been plunged since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.


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  • Libya

  • Muammar Gaddafi