Libyan Election Commission says Saif Gaddafi is not eligible to run for election

Of the 98 registered presidential candidates who were disqualified in the December 24 election, 25 were the sons of the former ruler.

The Libyan Electoral Commission stated that Saif Islam Gaddafi, the son of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, is not eligible to participate in the country’s planned presidential elections in December.

Gaddafi was one of 25 candidates who were disqualified by the committee on Wednesday, pending the preliminary decision of the appeal process, which will ultimately be decided by the judiciary. About 98 Libyans are registered as candidates.

The military prosecutor in Tripoli had urged the committee to exclude Gaddafi’s default conviction on war crimes charges in 2015 because of his involvement in the uprising against the fall of his late father in 2011.

At that time, Gaddafi appeared from Zintan via a video link. When his father was overthrown and tried to flee Libya, he was held by captured soldiers. He denied wrongdoing.

Two other well-known candidates, Ali Zeidan and Nouri Abusahmain, were also excluded.

Controversy over election rules, including the legal basis for voting on December 24 and who should be eligible to participate in the elections, could undermine the internationally supported peace process aimed at ending a decade of chaos.

Some other candidates initially approved by the committee have also been accused by political opponents of possible violations.

Interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah promised not to run for president as a condition of his current position, and failed to withdraw three months before voting as required by the controversial election law.

Khalifa Haftar, another well-known candidate, the military commander of the Eastern Traitor, is said to have American citizenship, which may also exclude him. Many people in western Libya also accused him of committing war crimes during the 2019-20 attack on Tripoli.

Haftar denied war crimes and stated that he was not a US citizen. Debeba said that the election rules issued in September by Aguila Saleh, also the candidate of the House of Assembly, had “flaws.”

The outgoing UN special envoy for Libya, Jan Kubis, told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the Libyan judiciary will make the final decision on the rules and whether the candidates are eligible.

Kubis told the Security Council on Wednesday that he will stay in office until the end of the general election next month.

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