Seif al-Islam (file photo)
By Valentine Amanze
Libya’s election agency, the High National Elections Commission, has announced that Seif al-Islam, the son and one-time heir apparent of the late Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi, was gunning for the country’s presidency in the December’s Presidential election.
The agency said on Sunday that Seif al-Islam, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity – the 2011 uprising – submitted his candidacy papers in the southern town of Sabha, 650 kilometers (400 miles) south of the capital of Tripoli.
In a video shared by an election official, Seif al-Islam addressed the camera, saying that God will decide the right path for the country’s future. He wore spectacles and a traditional Libyan robe and turban. It was the first time in years that Seif al-Islam appeared in public.
Seif al-Islam was released in June 2017 after more than five years of detention. In July he told The New York Times in an interview that he was considering a run for the country’s top office. His candidacy is likely to stir controversy across the country.
Seif al-Islam is wanted by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the first weeks of the 2011 uprising.
Gadhafi’s son was captured by fighters late in 2011, the year when a popular uprising toppled his father after more than 40 years in power. Moammar Gadhafi was later killed amid the ensuing fighting that would turn into a civil war.
Libya will hold presidential elections on December 24, 2021 after years of U.N.-led attempts to usher in a more democratic future and bring the country’s war to an end.