Gadhafi’s Heir Seif al-Islam Announces Run for President of Libya

In this Feb. 25, 2011, file photo, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, speaks to the media at a press conference in a hotel in Tripoli, Libya. A Libyan court sentenced Seif al-Islam, to death over killings in 2011 uprising on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Ben …
AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File

CAIRO (AP) — The son and one-time heir apparent of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi announced Sunday his candidacy for the country’s presidential election next month, Libya’s election agency said.

Seif al-Islam submitted his candidacy papers in the southern town of Sabah, the agency said in a statement.

Gadhafi’s son was captured by fighters late in 2011, the year when a popular uprising toppled his father after more than 40 years in power. Moammar Gadhafi was later killed amid the ensuing fighting that would turn into a civil war.

In a video released by the elections office where he registered, Seif al-Islam addressed the camera said that God will decide the right path for the country’s future. He wore a traditional Libyan robe and turban and spectacles.

Journalists watch as the judges (unseen), question Seif al-Islam (C), the son of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, broadcasted live from the western Libyan city of Zintan, from inside a room in Tripoli on April 27, 2014. (MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images)

Seif al-Islam was released in June 2017 after more than five years of detention, and in July told the New York Times in an exclusive interview that he was considering a run for the country’s top office. Libya is set to hold presidential elections on Dec. 24, after years of U.N.-led attempts to usher in a more democratic future and bring the war to an end.

The long-awaited vote still faces challenges, including unresolved issues over election laws and occasional infighting among armed groups. Other obstacles include the deep rift that remains between the country’s east and west, split for years by the war, and the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and troops.

Gadhafi the dictator had eight children, most of whom played significant roles in his regime. His son Muatassim was killed at the same time Gadhafi was captured and slain. Two other sons, Seif al-Arab and Khamis, were killed earlier in the uprising.

Another son, al-Saadi Gadhafi, was released in September after more than seven years of detention in the capital of Tripoli following his extradition from neighboring Niger.

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