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Militants block the appeal of Gaddafi’s son to his exclusion from running for the presidency

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Militants block the appeal of Gaddafi’s son to his exclusion from running for the presidency

TRIPOLI: Seif al-Islam Gaddafi’s lawyer said that gunmen prevented him from filing an appeal today, Thursday, against the decision to exclude his client from running in the presidential elections scheduled for next month, which raises fears of unrest surrounding the elections.

Disagreements over issues, including the eligibility of candidates, threaten to derail the elections scheduled for December 24, and with it a UN-backed peace process aimed at ending the chaos that has persisted in Libya since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi ten years ago.

The interference of fighters from any faction will undermine confidence in the elections that many Libyans want, but it has also raised fears of a new conflict.

The Libyan Election Commission, late on Wednesday, excluded Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and 24 other candidates out of 98 candidates for the presidential elections. The exclusion decision is subject to appeal.

The Electoral Commission and Jan Kubis, the United Nations special envoy for Libya, said on Wednesday that the Libyan judiciary has the final say regarding the list of candidates.

Khaled al-Zaidi, Saif al-Islam’s lawyer, said in video footage that gunmen stormed the court in the southern city of Sabha, which is one of only three registration centers, and prevented him from entering to file an appeal against his client’s decision not to qualify for candidacy.

The Ministry of Justice in Tripoli said in a statement on its social media pages that an armed group forced everyone to leave the court building.

The city of Sebha is under the control of a group allied with the forces of eastern Libya (the Libyan National Army) led by Khalifa Haftar, one of the main candidates in the presidential elections.

The rejection of Saif al-Islam’s candidacy came based on a Tripoli court’s conviction in absentia in 2015 of committing war crimes during the fighting that toppled his father in 2011.

Saif al-Islam had spent the past 10 years in the mountainous town of Zintan, where his captors took him after he was arrested while trying to flee Libya during the uprising, and he was almost certain to be arrested if he went to Tripoli.

Also Thursday, the Supreme Judicial Council reversed a ruling it had issued just days ago, and said that appeals against eligibility for elections can only be submitted in the district in which the candidate registered.

Analysts said the court ruling would also make it very difficult to apply to disqualify candidates who were initially approved as eligible if they, like Haftar, had armed forces in control of the area.

(Reuters)

in details

TRIPOLI: Seif al-Islam Gaddafi’s lawyer said that gunmen prevented him from filing an appeal today, Thursday, against the decision to exclude his client from running in the presidential elections scheduled for next month, which raises fears of unrest surrounding the elections.

Disagreements over issues, including the eligibility of candidates, threaten to derail the elections scheduled for December 24, and with it a UN-backed peace process aimed at ending the chaos that has persisted in Libya since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi ten years ago.

The interference of fighters from any faction will undermine confidence in the elections that many Libyans want, but it has also raised fears of a new conflict.

The Libyan Election Commission, late on Wednesday, excluded Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and 24 other candidates out of 98 candidates for the presidential elections. The exclusion decision is subject to appeal.

The Electoral Commission and Jan Kubis, the United Nations special envoy for Libya, said on Wednesday that the Libyan judiciary has the final say regarding the list of candidates.

Khaled al-Zaidi, Saif al-Islam’s lawyer, said in video footage that gunmen stormed the court in the southern city of Sabha, which is one of only three registration centers, and prevented him from entering to file an appeal against his client’s decision not to qualify for candidacy.

The Ministry of Justice in Tripoli said in a statement on its social media pages that an armed group forced everyone to leave the court building.

The city of Sebha is under the control of a group allied with the forces of eastern Libya (the Libyan National Army) led by Khalifa Haftar, one of the main candidates in the presidential elections.

The rejection of Saif al-Islam’s candidacy came based on a Tripoli court’s conviction in absentia in 2015 of committing war crimes during the fighting that toppled his father in 2011.

Saif al-Islam had spent the past 10 years in the mountainous town of Zintan, where his captors took him after he was arrested while trying to flee Libya during the uprising, and he was almost certain to be arrested if he went to Tripoli.

Also Thursday, the Supreme Judicial Council reversed a ruling it had issued just days ago, and said that appeals against eligibility for elections can only be submitted in the district in which the candidate registered.

Analysts said the court ruling would also make it very difficult to apply to disqualify candidates who were initially approved as eligible if they, like Haftar, had armed forces in control of the area.

(Reuters)

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