- Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is not eligible to contest because of his previous conviction.
- Saif had submitted his candidature papers on November 14.
Benghazi (Libya): Libya’s top electoral body has said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the country’s late dictator Moammar Gaddafi and his one-time successor, has been disqualified from running in next month’s presidential elections. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is not eligible to contest because of his previous conviction, according to a list of ineligible candidates released by the country’s higher national election committee on Wednesday. He can appeal in the court against the decision of the committee in the coming days.
Saif al-Islam was sentenced to death in 2015 by a court in the capital Tripoli for using violence against protesters demanding his father to step down. However, rival authorities in Libya questioned the decision. Saif al-Islam has also been declared wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity related to the 2011 uprising against his father.
Libya is going to hold its first round of presidential elections on 24 December after years of efforts under the leadership of the United Nations. The UN’s top envoy for Libya recently decided to step down due to complications and concerns in the wake of the election, though he said on Wednesday he was ready to remain in office if needed through a vote.
Saif, the son of a former Libyan dictator, submitted his candidacy papers on 14 November in the city of Sabha, 650 km (400 mi) south of Tripoli’s capital. This is the first time that 49-year-old Saif al-Islam has appeared in public after years. He holds a PhD degree from the London School of Economics. The announcement of his possible candidacy has sparked controversy across the country, where several other high-profile candidates have also surfaced in recent weeks. Several controversial candidates emerged earlier this month, including powerful military commander Khalifa Hifter and the country’s interim prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dabiba.
Meanwhile, UN envoy Jan Kubis submitted his resignation last week, although it did not become public until Tuesday. Kubis said he was prepared to remain as special envoy during the December 24 election, but the United Nations has accepted his resignation, with an effective date of December 10. When asked about this, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said that the organization will continue to work with him till the search for a successor is completed. In a statement on Wednesday, the Security Council stressed the importance of the upcoming election and called on the Libyan people to accept the results.
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