Libya: Court Reinstates Saif al-Islam Qaddafi’s Presidential Bid

Libya: Court Reinstates Saif al-Islam Qaddafi’s Presidential Bid

An appeals court reinstated the presidential candidacy of Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of late dictator Muammar Qaddafi, after he was disqualified from running in this month’s Libyan presidential election.

A total of 98 candidates registered for the December 24 election; Qaddafi was one of 25 to be disqualified.

Qaddafi emerged from a long spell of captivity by one of Libya’s many armed factions to run for president, using nostalgia for his father’s rule among southern Libyan tribes and militias to rally supporters. The national election commission disqualified him on November 24 because he was convicted in absentia of war crimes in 2015.

When Qaddafi’s lawyers sought to file an appeal against his disqualification, they found the courthouse they were required to use in the city of Sebha had been overrun by gunmen loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar, one of Qaddafi’s prospective opponents. Haftar’s military organization, the Libyan National Army (LNA), claimed the gunmen were merely there to protect the courthouse.

Libya Court Reinstates Gadhafi Presidential Bid Amid Election Chaos

— The Voice of America (@VOANews) December 3, 2021

The court in Sebha is once again functional, and on Thursday it overrode the election commission and ruled Qaddafi eligible to run for president, prompting his supporters to dance in the streets of the city.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has also charged Qaddafi with two counts of crimes against humanity for actions he took to support his father’s crumbling regime in 2011. The ICC issued a warrant for Qaddafi’s arrest in June 2011.

John Hayward