Libya’s top electoral body said on Wednesday that the son and former heir of the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi had been disqualified from participating in the presidential election scheduled for next month.
According to the list of banned candidates issued by the country’s high-level National Election Commission, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi was banned due to a previous conviction. He can appeal the committee’s decision to the court in the next few days.
Seif al-Islam was sentenced to death by the Tripoli court in 2015 for using violence against protesters who called for his father to step down, but the ruling has since been challenged by hostile Libyan authorities. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity related to the 2011 uprising against his father.
On November 14, the son of the former dictator of Libya submitted his candidacy in Sabha, a southern town 650 kilometers (400 miles) south of the capital Tripoli. This is the first time he has received a PhD at the age of 49. The London School of Economics has been in public for many years.
At the end of 2011, he was captured by militants in the town of Jintan. That year, a popular uprising supported by NATO overthrew his father who had been in power for more than 40 years. Moammar Gadhafi was killed in October of the same year in a battle that later turned into a civil war. The dictator’s son was released in June 2017.
The news that he might run for the election has caused controversy in this divided country, and many other well-known candidates have emerged in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, several controversial candidates came forward, including the powerful military commander Khalifa Hifter and the country’s interim prime minister Abdul Hamid de Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.
The long-awaited vote still faces challenges, including unresolved electoral legal issues and occasional infighting between armed groups. Other obstacles include the deep rift between the east and west of the country that has been divided by war for many years, and the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and armies.