A court in Libya has cleared and reinstated Saif Gaddafi as presidential candidate for the December presidential election.

The court in Sebha overturned the electoral commission’s decision to nullify Saif al-Islam’s candidacy for the polls.

Saif al-Islam, who is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes, had registered to run in the next month’s elections.

The disclosure was made by his lawyer, a week after being disqualified for what Libyan authorities said were war crimes committed during the uprising against his father more than 10 years ago.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s lawyer, Khaled al-Zaydi, confirmed to Al Jazeera on Thursday that the court in Sebha accepted his client’s appeal, lodged earlier in the day, and that he would therefore be reinstated in the presidential election scheduled to take part later this month.

In disqualifying Gaddafi, Libya’s electoral commission had pointed to articles of the electoral law stipulating that candidates “must not have been sentenced for a dishonourable crime” and must present a clean criminal record.

Western officials have talked up a United Nations-led peace process and insist on “inclusive” and “credible” elections starting on December 24 in the North African country, despite serious disputes over how they should be held, and their credibility.

Libya is seeking to move beyond a decade of violence that has rocked the oil-rich nation since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed Gaddafi senior in 2011.

Gaddafi, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, had registered to run on November 14 but was among 25 candidates whose bids have were rejected by the elections board last week.

It said the 25 had been rejected on legal grounds as well as information from officials including the public prosecutor, a police chief and the head of the passports and citizenship department.

Gaddafi had lodged an appeal in Sebha, but last week a “group of outlaws” launched an “odious” attack on the court, forcing it to shut hours before the appeal hearing, the government in Tripoli said.

He was the first heavyweight candidate to sign up for the election, after emerging from years in the shadows and telling The New York Times in July that he was planning a political comeback.

In the rare interview, Gaddafi said he wanted to “restore the lost unity” of Libya after a decade of chaos.

 

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here