Libya: the thorny candidacy of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

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: RFI Follow

1 min

He has been discreet since his death sentence, then his release, by the Libyan justice.

Saif al-Islam is now officially a presidential candidate next December.

But his candidacy raises many questions.


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For now, it is only

the candidacy

of the ex-dignitary of the Gaddafi regime that has been accepted by the electoral commission, just like that of several other declared candidates.

We will have to wait at least until November 22, the deadline for submitting applications, to find out who will actually be able to run for the presidential seat.

Until then, discussions promise to be lively in the widely divided Libyan parliament.

The latter has yet to finalize an incomplete electoral code.

For the moment there are provisions to select candidates according to their profile but, according to the observers that RFI was able to reach, they are not sufficient to establish a clear list of criteria.

And the case of

Saif al-Islam

is particularly thorny.

Sentenced to death and then released

by the Libyan justice for his repressive role during the revolution four years earlier, he is also wanted by the International Criminal Court for the same reasons.

In Libya, it enjoys a certain popular support, but far from unanimous.

And with the approach of the poll, no figure stands out in public opinion.

In any case and whatever the final decision on Saif al-Islam, the electoral commission, hitherto hailed for its neutrality, risks being accused of playing politics.

And as for the electoral process to come, already described as uncertain, it could be even more destabilized by this candidacy, whether it is validated or not.


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  • Libya