Saif al-Islam Gaddafi seeks to run for the presidency of Libya with Russian support

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date of publication:
June 11, 2021 11:23 GMT

Update date: June 11, 2021 11:30 GMT

The British newspaper, The Times, said that Saif al-Islam, the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, plans to return to public life and run for the presidency of Libya, 10 years after the overthrow of his father’s regime.

The newspaper said that Gaddafi, the son, who has not appeared in public for years, spoke about his plans during a phone call to clarify his relationship with a team of advisers acting on his behalf.

She also indicated that he was communicating with Western and other diplomats with the aim of proving his credentials during his return to public life.

imminent statement

The British newspaper quoted Saif’s aides as saying that he “will issue a public statement imminently. He plans to run in the elections scheduled for December 24,” but they say announcing his candidacy would be premature before the election law is approved, as opponents may seek to add a clause that prevents him from running.

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The opponents who revolted against Muammar Gaddafi had arrested Saif al-Islam in 2011, then sentenced him to death in 2015. He was released two years later, but he remained in hiding in the city of Zintan.

Russian support

The Times report quoted what it called “people familiar with his thinking” that Saif al-Islam is still upset with the role of Western countries in overthrowing his father and the disaster it caused to his family, but despite that he wants to turn the page.

She stated that Russia supports his candidacy for the presidency of Libya.

Two Russian political activists sent to support his presidential campaign were arrested in Tripoli in 2019 and their meeting notes were recovered. This included a PowerPoint presentation proposing a quick rally in The Hague under the slogan “Safe with Saif” to promote the campaign of Gaddafi the son.

American position الموقف

Regarding the American position on the expected move, the newspaper stated that it is doubtful that the United States would find the return of Saif Gaddafi acceptable, noting that Anthony Blinken, the current Secretary of State, was a strong supporter of the NATO intervention in Libya in 2011.

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She also mentioned that the Americans see Saif al-Islam as very close to the Kremlin.

the biggest challenge

But beyond external positions, the newspaper saw that the biggest challenge facing Saif al-Islam Gaddafi comes from domestic opponents, including politicians who are trying to change the electoral system to allow parliament to choose the president, to avoid direct voting that would bring Saif al-Islam or Khalifa Haftar (commander of the national army). east of the country) to power.

Sources familiar with Saif al-Islam’s thinking said he believed he could run regardless of the ICC warrant, and that the case might be shelved.

return stability

The British newspaper believes that Saif al-Islam can count on nostalgia for the relative stability of his father’s rule, pointing out that despite the overthrow of Gaddafi in a popular revolution backed by NATO air strikes, the country’s slide into successive civil wars after 2011 led many Libyans to question whether The uprising was a mistake.

She said that there are those who argue that Seif has a good chance in the elections, apart from nostalgia, he can count on support in southern and central Libya. His aides rely in particular on domestic, not foreign, support.

Skeptical of the supposed popularity, Wolfram Lacher, a Libya analyst at the German think tank SWP, said: “Saif al-Islam did not come out in the open, so this figure has become the object of illusions, especially the saving illusions… I am skeptical that he can keep these The saving image once he comes out in the open and once he deals with the real-life questions facing Libyans.”





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