Has Gaddafi’s Son Stolen Father’s Look For Votes?

Published November 15th, 2021 - 07:22 GMT
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi announced his presidential bid on the 14th of November 2021. (Twitter)

Only two days after the Paris international conference that is pushing for holding Libyan elections as per UN plan, the 49-year old son of slain Libyan leader Muammar Al-Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi has officially announced running for president of Libya.

Despite talks about Al-Gaddafi bid to lead the country being in the press for several months now, Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi seems to believe that he can become the first elected president in the country that revolted against his father 10 years ago.

Saif Al-Islam is said to have acquired "a Russian blessing" last summer, after a secret visit he paid to Damascus, which is perceived by many as "the stronghold for Moscow" in the region. 

Yesterday, these reports were finally confirmed as Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi appeared in public to sign his request to run for the elections that will be held on the 24th of December, 2021.

Online, people could not help but notice that Al-Gaddafi's son sported one of his father's most famous outfits for his press appearance, as he wore the same outfit his father wore during his famous February 2011 speech at the start of the revolution against his rule. 

Prior to the 2011 revolution which followed similar Arab Spring movements in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi was strongly believed to have been groomed to take power in case his then-69 years old father passed away.

Al-Gaddafi's son is believed to have worn his father's head covering and jerd (traditional Libyan men's dress) to appeal to voters who miss his father's reign. 

Muammar Al-Gaddafi's 42-years-old rule ended in October 2011, after he was captured and killed by anti-Gaddafist National Transitional Council rebels following NATO military intervention. His son Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi was arrested in November 2011 and was sentenced to death on 28 July 2015 by a court in Tripoli, for his role during the country's civil war. During the same year, an ICC arrest warrant was issued for him, one that is still valid today, according to sources.

Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi
Scenes from the 2014 trial of Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi in Tripoli. (AFP: MAHMUD TURKIA)

Translation: "Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi is officially running for president wearing his father's clothes from his last speech."

In 2017, Gaddafi's son was released from prison in Libya after being granted full amnesty by the Tobruk-based government led by Khalifa Haftar.

Next December, Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi will probably be competing against Libya's warlord Khalifa Haftar and the current Interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, but both men have yet to officially announce the start of their campaigns.

Written by Riham Darwish

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