Libya’s Electoral Commission says Saif Gaddafi is not eligible to run Choice news

Son of former ruler among 25 of the 98 registered presidential candidates disqualified to run in the December 24 election.

Libya’s Electoral Commission has said that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, was not eligible to run in the country’s planned presidential election in December.

Gaddafi was one of 25 candidates disqualified by the commission on Wednesday in an initial decision awaiting an appeal process, which will ultimately be decided by the judiciary. About 98 Libyans had registered as candidates.

The Tripoli military prosecutor had urged the commission to exclude Gaddafi after his verdict in absentia on war crimes charges in 2015 for his part in the fight against the uprising that removed his late father in 2011.

Gaddafi at the time showed up via video link from Zintan, where he was held by warriors who captured him as he tried to escape Libya after his father’s overthrow. He denied any wrongdoing.

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

Disputes over the election rules, including the legal basis for the December 24 vote and who should be eligible to stand for election, threaten to derail an internationally backed peace process aimed at ending a decade of chaos.

Some of the other candidates originally approved by the commission had also been accused of possible violations by political rivals.

Interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah did not promise to run in the presidential election as a condition of taking up his current role and did not step down from it three months before the vote, as required by a controversial election law.

Another prominent candidate, Eastern Assaulted Military Commander Khalifa Haftar, is said to have U.S. citizenship, which could also exclude him. Many people in western Libya also accuse him of war crimes committed during his attack on Tripoli in 2019-20.

Haftar denies war crimes and says he is not a US citizen. Dbeibah has described as “deficient” the election rules issued in September by Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh, who is also a candidate.

UN Libyan envoy Jan Kubis, who is resigning from his post, told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that Libya’s judiciary would make the final decision on the rules and whether candidates were eligible.

Kubis told the Security Council on Wednesday that he would remain in the job until after next month’s election.

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