Libyan ex-minister vows to run for president in June election

A prominent former Libyan ex-minister announced Monday he would be running for president in Libya’s impending general election. Tripoli-based Al-Jadida television aired footage of the 65-year-old Seif al-Islam Qaddafi with a sheet tied around…

Libyan ex-minister vows to run for president in June election

A prominent former Libyan ex-minister announced Monday he would be running for president in Libya’s impending general election.

Tripoli-based Al-Jadida television aired footage of the 65-year-old Seif al-Islam Qaddafi with a sheet tied around his neck announcing his candidacy, which he planned to run on an anti-corruption platform.

“I announce today my candidacy for the presidency of the republic, to be carried out under the auspices of the National Forces Alliance and the Tripoli-based umbrella of anti-Gaddafi Libyan revolutionaries,” Qaddafi said.

The NFA is the political alliance of former rebels who ousted and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

It was not immediately clear if Qaddafi’s campaign had gathered enough signatures for a full parliamentary or presidential run off.

Tripoli-based Al-Jadida television also aired footage of pro-Qaddafi demonstrations, calling for the former dictator’s son to be promoted to replace the current interim leader, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil.

Libya’s de facto leadership, the Government of National Accord, announced last week a general election for June 25, but critics say it did not include proposed constitutional amendments that would broaden political participation.

Seif al-Islam Qaddafi, though tried, convicted and jailed, has long been portrayed by the GNA as a victim. He has denied his father’s killing was a coup and has advocated moderation and political reform.

Born in 1942 in a prominent Libyan family, Seif al-Islam became known as an activist who worked to support his countrymen fleeing to neighboring Egypt.

He was indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, with the majority of those charged against his father and his military commanders.

He was captured in 2011 and turned over to Libya in exchange for surrendering the remains of his brother Moammar and of Muammar’s favorite son, Saif al-Islam, who died in custody.

Gaddafi’s eldest son died in October after escaping from a secret prison in a daring escape bid disguised as a female doctor. His escape sparked angry protests in Libya and was denounced by the interim government as a “thief and a murderer.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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