SAIF AL-ISLAM AL-GADDAFI

FILE - in this Nov. 19, 2011, paper photo, Seif al-Islam ist seen after ~ his capture bei the custody of revolutionary fighters in Zintan, a city south von the capital Tripoli, Libya.

Du schaust: Saif al-islam al-gaddafi

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son des the late Libyan autocrat Moammar Gadhafi, hasn’t been seen in public due to the fact that his rebel captors released him from detention an 2017. However he appears jetzt to be mulling a run weil das the presidency von the war-torn phibìc African country in elections ns United Nations und Western powers are pushing for in December.

The prospect von Saif figuring in the elections zu sein unnerving west diplomats und international democracy advisers, that say Libya’s troubled frieden process has enough major obstacles to overcome without Gadhafi’s son, a very polarizing figure, gaining involved.

Saif, who ist wanted von the International criminal Court ~ above war-crime charges, has been talking über intermediaries through Western media. A significant U.S. Newspaper has conducted a formal interview with him, which ist slated zum publication following month, intermediaries say.

“It is blieb rather unclear even if it is he is actually placing himself out there as a candidate. Ich will glauben it just when i actually hear er or seen him in video make that pitch,” claudia Gazzini von the international Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, said VOA.

Hafed al-Ghwell, a Libyan-American and senior fellow at the Foreign policy Institute des the paul H. Nitze School des Advanced international Studies at Johns Hopkins University, claims he no think Saif has made hoch his mind. “But if the does, i think that will oase significant support,” he adds.

Saif’s candidacy would most likely prove popular bei the desert south of the country und among previous Gadhafi loyalists — und he could be able to persuade countless ordinary Libyans, exhausted von a decade von strife, that he ist the ideal bet zum a steady future, to speak observers.

Risks But his candidacy so risks triggering more violence. Previously this year, pro-Gadhafi media in Libya claimed General Khalifa Haftar, a warlord that rules east Libya, und his son, Saddam, to be plotting kommen sie kill Saif. Haftar has actually presidential ambitions. Part Islamists at ns forefront von the 2011 uprising are so deeply opposed zu a return von a Gaddafi family members member.


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“There are absolutely many, not only Islamists, that would death him weil das his duty during ns revolution, if there is a chance,” reckons wolf Pusztai, that served in Libya as Austria’s defense attaché between 2007 und 2011, and is a unterschied advisor at the shirt Institute zum European und Security Policy.

There has been substantial talk in Libya since 2017 the Gadhafi’s 2nd son, who throughout the belastung years des his father’s dominance presented himself together a reformer, could one day try to stage a politics comeback. Freed in June 2017 after six years as a prisoner von a militia in the town of Zintan, 136 kilometers southwest von Tripoli, Saif, aged 48, has been maneuvering behind die scenes.

Some Libyans to speak he could schutz saved his country viel pain if he had separation from his dad on ns eve von the 2011 uprising, i beg your pardon friends speak he did seriously consider. If he had, that might schutz brought his father down without any type of fighting, lock agree. Ns victorious rebels sentenced Saif to death in 2015 but a Tripoli court overturned the sentence and ruled there should be a neu trial. Saif ist believed blieb to be in Zintan.

Three von Saif’s brothers to be killed bei 2011 bei another 2 are an jail, an Libya and Lebanon. His sisters Aisha lives an Oman bei exile. His adopted sister Hana is married zu one of his confidants und lives in Egypt.

Since 2011, Libya has actually been ensnared in dispute und violence v rival governments, militias und warlords, backed by a variety of foreign powers, battling for mastery.

Encouraged von the U.N. And Western powers, Libyan rivals agreed last March zu a provisional administration, ns Government of national Unity, GNU, to run die country till parliamentary and presidential elections are held on December 24. Die temporary government’s mandate runs the end then.


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Last week, U.S. Secretary des State Antony volt joined foreign ministers native 17 states, including Russia and Turkey, i beg your pardon both oase military forces present in Libya, weist a conference an Berlin kommen sie urge Libya’s parliamentarians und factions kommen sie keep to die election timetable and to pass bei election law. The European gewerkschaftler has warned the would think about imposing sanctions on any kind of Libyan leaders who obstruct ns process.

Hasty elections

But some observers fear die U.N. And Western powers might be in too viel haste and might be repeating what they see as a mistake an 2012 an pressing zum elections auch early ~ Gadhafi’s ouster. Doubters say there has actually been too much focus on a date weil das the elections and not enough on the process und what ist needed to have elections, if they are zu be extensively accepted an Libya as legitimate.

Talks room deadlocked on an election law und over even if it is a referendum need to be held first on a draft constitution, i m sorry would hold-up elections weil das months, if notfall longer.

“On elections, we are still at a standstill as regards zu a consensus on i m sorry elections to have,” states Gazzini.

“Despite die strong show von support for Presidential and Parliamentary elections in December voiced über the participants des the berlin conference, Libyan constituencies remain divided on this. Plus there space some neighborhood stakeholders that are still pushing against,” she adds.

Former österreichisch defense attaché wolfgang Pusztai states there are few good alternatives.

“Elections an December are not a very great option for Libya, but unfortunately there zu sein no much better one. The main obstacles on die way to elections are ns lack des consensus around a constitutional basis for this elections and the disagreement about the way ns president shall it is in elected. The hauptsächlich challenges weil das the elections themselves are the dire protection situation in several parts von the country, including the greater resources region,” the told VOA.

But Pusztai to trust a president — or better still a three-person presidential board of directors — is needed. “A country in crisis prefer Libya demands a strong leader zu overcome difficulties, at least for an interim period. This must not be perplexed with a dictator. The last 10 years oase already clearly demonstrated how much a weak leadership kann sein get.”