Gadhafi’s son Saif to run for president of Libya

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Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, 42, is the sole candidate of the Green Movement, which was encouraged by his father after the dictator’s death in 2011

The son of Libya’s late dictator Muammar Gadhafi has announced he will run for president of the country in the country’s second vote since the dictator’s killing.

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, 42, announced his intention to run for the presidency in front of thousands of his supporters on Tuesday.

Saif al-Islam will be the sole candidate of the Green Movement, a coalition of more than 20 political and social organizations, according to Libya’s state news agency, Lana.

His candidacy is reportedly seen as an olive branch to the eastern-based, internationally recognized government in Tobruk. But supporters and opponents of the former regime are likely to mobilise in opposition.

Saif al-Islam was not released from house arrest after his father’s death in the 2011 uprising. He was accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Three months after the ousting of dictator Muammar Gadhafi in 2011, Gaddafi’s eldest son fled to Niger in a bid to avoid justice, but was arrested there in 2016, and then sent to Libya where he has lived under house arrest at his compound in the southern town of Zintan ever since.

Saif al-Islam was arrested in Libya in November 2016 and sent to Zintan from Niger, after being convicted of the murder of civilian protesters during the 2011 revolt that toppled his father.

Last week, the head of Libya’s UN-backed government in Tripoli, Fayez al-Sarraj, said he agreed to the idea of a presidential election “as soon as possible”.

Gadhafi is one of three remaining senior figures still at large in Libya. One is Saadi Gadhafi, who was a Libyan fighter pilot in the Libyan Arab Air Force before the country plunged into chaos in 2011. The other is former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, who is wanted by the international criminal court.

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