Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Libyan court reinstates Gaddafi presidential bid amid election chaos

A Libyan court ruled on Thursday that the son of late leader Muammar Gaddafi could run for president, his lawyer said, as debate intensified over the conduct of the election aimed at ending a decade of turmoil Was.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s appeal against disqualification for the December 24 vote was delayed for several days as fighters closed the court, one of several incidents that could have foreshadowed widespread election unrest.

In another incident on Thursday, the Election Commission said armed men stole ballot cards at five election centers in western Libya.

Analysts fear a disputed vote or one with a clear violation could derail the peace process, leading to the formation of a unity government this year in an attempt to bridge the rift between warring eastern and western factions.

A final list of candidates for the election has yet to be released amid a chaotic appeals process, as the Election Commission initially disqualified 25 of the 98 who had registered for the presidency.

Gaddafi, who was sentenced in absentia to death by a Tripoli court in 2015 for war crimes committed during an unsuccessful fight to save his father’s 40-year rule from a NATO-backed insurgency, is among several divisive candidates in the race. is one.

He is still loyal to the former government of his father for the Libyan people, whose coup and death in 2011 started a decade of conflict. Witnesses said his supporters celebrated on the streets of Sebha after his lawyer announced the verdict.

However, many other Libyans, including armed groups that hold the balance of power in different parts of the country, consider his presence on the ballot unacceptable after a bloody struggle to oust his father.

The blockade of the Sebha court this week by fighters affiliated with eastern commander Khalifa Haftar signaled potential chaos as the planned election could be held with support or opposition from rival candidates from armed groups.

Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) controls much of eastern and southern Libya, is himself a candidate for election. The LNA said units affiliated with it were protecting the court rather than blocking it.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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