Libya’s electoral commission has announced that, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libya’s revolutionary leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, has registered for the poll which is scheduled for December 24th, 2021.
The commission said in a statement that, “Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi submitted … his candidacy for the presidential election to the High National Electoral Commission office in the [southern] city of Sebha.” With this announcement, Saif will be one of the main candidates to watch out for in the upcoming election.
Since the death of Libya’s revolutionary leader, Muammar Gaddafi, his second son, Saif al-Islam Muammar Gaddafi who managed to survive maintained a low profile until he resurfaced in an interview in July 2021 with The New York Times where he spoke extensively about the problems facing the northern African country after the death of his father.
His interview casted doubts of whether the world is going to witness a return of Gaddafi. In what is seen by political analysts as a diversionary tactics, Saif further created suspense in the said interview with The New York Times. When questioned on his political career, Saif said “I’ve been away from the Libyan people for 10 years, you need to come back slowly, slowly. Like a striptease.”
He used that opportunity to bemoan the devastated state of Libya after the death of his father. “There’s no money, no security. There’s no life here. Go to the gas station, there’s no diesel. We export oil and gas to Italy. we’re lighting half of Italy and we have blackouts here. It’s more than a failure. It’s a fiasco.” He said.
His candidacy was earlier predicted by Emadeddin Badi, a Libya specialist and researcher who said “It is not impossible to see a Gaddafi coming to power in Libya in the distant future. It is not completely unthinkable.”
Libya’s December poll however is one that remain closely monitored by stakeholders due to the activities of factions in the country. Many interested parties hold the view that, these feuding factions could either compromise the electoral process or mar it completely. A much-criticized conference held in France threatened sanctions against defaulters.
“We affirm that individuals or entities, inside or outside of Libya, who might attempt to obstruct, undermine, manipulate or falsify the electoral process and the political transition will be held accountable and may be designated by the United Nations Sanctions Committee in accordance with UNSC resolution 2571 (2021),” the Paris declaration document said.