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Libya Election Body Rejects Gaddafi Son’s Presidential Bid

Libya Election Body Rejects Gaddafi Son’s Presidential Bid

Wednesday, 24 November, 2021 - 19:15
Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi registers on November 14 to run in the country's December presidential polls. (AFP)

Libya's electoral commission on Wednesday announced its rejection of the candidacy of Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, a son of slain ruler Moammar Gaddafi, to run in next month's presidential election.

Wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, Saif al-Islam, who registered to run on November 14, was among 25 candidates whose bids have been rejected, the HNEC commission said in a statement.

It said it rejected the 25 on legal grounds as well as based on information from officials including the public prosecutor, a police chief and the head of the passports and citizenship department.

In a surprise announcement, Saif al-Islam, whose whereabouts had been kept secret for several months, became the first heavyweight candidate to sign up for the election race.

He had been sentenced to death by a Tripoli court in 2017 for crimes committed during the revolt that toppled his father. He was later pardoned by a rival administration in eastern Libya.

In July, he emerged from years in the shadows and told The New York Times he was planning a political comeback.

In a rare interview, Saif al-Islam said he wanted to "restore the lost unity" of Libya after a decade of chaos.

Libya's electoral commission said Tuesday that a total of 98 candidates, including two women, had registered to run in the presidential election scheduled for December 24.

The polls come as Libya seeks to turn a page on a decade of violence that has rocked the oil-rich nation since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed Gaddafi in 2011.

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