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Libya election body rejects Gaddafi son's presidential bid

i24NEWS - AFP

2 min read
People gather at the Martyrs' Square in Libya's capital Tripoli on November 19, 2021, to protest against the candidacy Seif al-Islam Gaddafi.
Mahmud Turkia / AFPPeople gather at the Martyrs' Square in Libya's capital Tripoli on November 19, 2021, to protest against the candidacy Seif al-Islam Gaddafi.

The HNEC commission rejected 25 candidates on legal grounds

Libya's electoral commission on Wednesday announced its rejection of the candidacy of Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, a son of slain dictator Muammar 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 were rejected, the High National Election Commission (HNEC) 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, whose whereabouts had been kept secret for several months, became the first heavyweight candidate to sign up for the election race.

Saif's announcement quickly led to street protests that temporarily closed election offices around Libya, and to a statement by the council of a major city demanding his ejection from the 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 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, 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 rocked the oil-rich nation since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed Gaddafi in 2011.

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