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Gadaffi son barred from Libya leader tilt

The son and one-time heir-apparent of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been disqualified from running in presidential elections due to take place next month.

According to a list of barred candidates issued by the country’s High National Elections Committee, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is ineligible because of previous convictions against him.

He can appeal the committee’s decision in court.

Saif al-Islam was sentenced to death by a Tripoli court in 2015 for use of violence against protesters who were calling for his father to step down, but that ruling has since been called into question by Libya’s rival authorities.

He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity related to the 2011 uprising against his father.

Libya is set to hold the first round of its presidential elections on December 24, after years of UN-led attempts to usher in a more democratic future and bring the country’s war to an end.

Following the overthrow and killing of Muammar Gaddafi, oil-rich Libya has spent most of the last decade split between rival governments – one based in the capital, Tripoli, and the other in the eastern part of the country.

Each side in the civil war has had the support of mercenaries and foreign forces, including from Turkey and Russia, as well as from Syria and other regional powers.

The son of Libya’s former dictator submitted his candidacy papers in the southern town of Sabha, 650km south of Tripoli on November 14.

It was the first time the 49-year old, who earned a PhD at the London School of Economics, had appeared in public in years.

He was captured by fighters in the town of Zintan late in 2011, the year the popular uprising, backed by NATO, toppled his father after more than 40 years in power.

Muammar Gaddafi was killed that same year in October amid the ensuing fighting that would turn into a civil war. The dictator’s son was released in June 2017.

The UN Security Council emphasised the importance of the upcoming election in a statement on Wednesday, urging an “inclusive and consultative electoral process”, warning against violence and disinformation and calling for Libyans to accept the results of the vote.

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