Daylight Attack On Appeals Court Rocks Libya Before Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi Candidacy Reconsidered

Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi

Libya LibyaThe United Nations has condemned the attack on courts in Libya ahead of the national vote. Recently, armed men surrounded the court in the southern town of Sabha and prevented judges from convening to look into Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi’s appeal.

The attack happened on an appeals court which was to re-examine an earlier decision that disqualified the son of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi from running for president.

Earlier on, the country’s electoral body had already deemed Seif Al-Islam ineligible to take part in the presidential race set for next month, citing his previous convictions. He also had a death sentence on his head for war crimes he committed in the past. The order came through by a Tripoli court in 2015 for using violence against protesters in a 2011 uprising against his father, but that ruling has since been called into question by Libya’s rival authorities.

United Nations Support Mission In Libya (UNSMIL) said through a tweet message, “Attacks against judicial or election facilities or judicial or elections personnel are not only criminal acts, punishable under Libyan law, but (they) also undermine Libyans’ right to participate in the political process.”

Libya is set to hold the first round of presidential elections on Dec. 24, after years of UN-led attempts to usher in a more democratic future and end the country’s civil war. However, the upcoming vote faces many challenges including unresolved issues over laws governing the elections, and occasional infighting among armed groups. Other obstacles include the deep rift that remains between the country’s east and west and the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and troops.

An unstable government isn’t the solution to a long-lasting democracy. Libya does not have a solid government in place and is currently being governed by an interim one that was elected by Libyan delegates after UN-led talks in Geneva in February.

Libya’s interim Interior Minister Khaled Mazen vowed on Thursday to hunt down and prosecute the assailants. He insisted that the transitional government is keen on securing the electoral process in order to encourage all Libyans to go to the vote, according to Libya’s state-owned news agency.

It is imperative that Libya sees a large voter turnout for it to be able to elect itself next line of leadership. Last week, the High National Elections Committee had already decided to exclude Seif Al-Islam from the race citing his criminal record.

Additionally, the dictator’s son is already wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity related to the uprising.

The announcement of his possible candidacy has not brought confidence but a sense of insecurity that has been extrapolated in an already divided country It is worth noting that a number of other high-profile candidates have also emerged in recent weeks.

Among them are powerful military commander Khalifa Haftar and the country’s interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah. “The Mission reiterates its call for holding transparent, fair and inclusive elections on 24 December,” said UNSMIL.

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