Saif Al-Islam: Everyone Has a Right To Run For President


On Tuesday, the Libyan Presidential candidate, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi accused the leading political parties of “confiscating the will of five million Libyans, and giving the reins to the hands of five people to control the fate of Libya.”

In a statement published by his political team, he confirmed that “when the electoral process began, the so-called constitutional basis was not open for debate, or a disputed issue, except after the electoral process was disrupted for reasons called “force majeure” so that the fate of the Libyan people, and their future are mortgaged to such constitutional basis.”

The Presidential candidate explained that the “controversial points included in that basis were raised to prevent the military and dual nationals from running for elections, with the aim of excluding certain individuals.”

He added that members of the High Council of State (HCS) and the Parliament have “finally agreed to exclude those against whom judicial rulings were issued, even if those rulings were not final so that those people would not be allowed to run for elections even if they were acquitted. This constitutes a clear bias against a specific person, and will lead to the failure of the elections, which everyone sees as the only way out for Libya from its intractable crisis.”

Saif Al-Islam indicated that “those who have previously agreed to exclude a specific person from running for elections, are now divided over other people from the military and dual nationals”

The statement accused all political parties of “bringing the country into an endless cycle, as if the country’s problem was reduced to two paragraphs of the constitutional basis. This is a clear disregard for the tragedy of Libya, and the suffering of its people for nearly 12 years.”

The son of late Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi confirmed that the controversial items related to the constitutional basis are “nothing but a pretext for failing the electoral process.”

The political team said that everyone should be allowed to run for the elections. As they are being organised at a critical stage and in exceptional circumstances, which require the participation of all candidates.

They explained that excluding certain parties may lead to contesting the election results, and a failure to accept them.

“All Libyans share the same demands, as they want security and stability, and to preserve the integrity of their lands. In addition to ending the state of insecurity and ongoing crises,” the statement concluded.

Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The county has for years been split between rival administrations, each backed by rogue militias and foreign governments.

The current stalemate grew out of the failure to hold elections in December, and the refusal of Prime Minister Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba, who is leading the transitional government, to step down. In response, the country’s eastern-based Parliament appointed a rival Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, who has for months sought to install his government in Tripoli.