The son of the late Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi is to run as a candidate in the country’s presidential elections this year, according to local media reports.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was once the heir apparent to his father’s regime but is now wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity during his father’s brutal efforts to put down the 2011 rebellion against his rule.
His candidacy was announced by officials in the Libyan Popular Front party during a news conference in Tunis on Monday. Khaled Guel told al-Araby al-Jadeed, a pan-Arab newspaper, that Libya needed to get past recent divisions.
“The humanitarian situation is deteriorating and the path forward is unclear. Therefore many Libyans now believe that the only way to save the country is through Saif al-Islam,” he said.
Saif al-Islam had been held by a militia in the town of Zintan for six years after his father was driven from power by rebels.
In 2015 he was also sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Tripoli.
However, he was released in June last year, apparently after being granted amnesty by one of the country’s two competing governments and now he wants to run for President.