Gaddafi’s lawyer says plans to file appeal after disqualification from Libya election

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After Libya’s High National Election Commission announced yesterday the disqualification of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, from the country’s presidential race, all eyes have turned to Gaddafi’s lawyers and the legal steps they intend to take.

Al Arabiya has learned that Gaddafi’s team plans to file an appeal with the judicial authorities to challenge the commission’s decision to exclude him from the election scheduled for next month on the grounds that he does not meet the conditions for candidacy.

No final ruling

Attorney Khaled al-Ghuwail told Al Arabiya that the commission’s decision, which was based on Article 10 of the Presidential Election Law, constitutes a legal violation and does not apply to Gaddafi, as no final judicial ruling was issued against his client in any felony or crime as evidenced by Gaddafi’s criminal record, which does not include any precedents.

He also indicated that an appeal against Gaddafi’s disqualification would be submitted to the judicial committees concerned with electoral appeals, describing the exclusion of his client as a “political decision.”

“The battle is still on, and Libyans will fight with all their might to defend their candidate’s right to run,” al-Ghuwail said.

The lawyer stressed that several candidates running for president did not meet the conditions, yet their candidacy was accepted, questioning the commission’s integrity and independence.

The filing of appeals and objections before the Appeals Committee is set to begin on November 28. The Committee, appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council, will issue its decisions within 72 hours.

Gaddafi’s disqualification sparked anger among his allies and supporters, some of whom reportedly ripped up and burned their election cards in protest of the decision. Others threatened to shut down polling places if Gaddafi’s remains disqualified.

Conviction in absentia

The military prosecutor in Tripoli had urged the commission to rule out Gaddafi after his conviction in absentia on war crimes charges in 2015 for his part in fighting the revolution that toppled his father in 2011. He has denied wrongdoing.

Some of the other candidates initially approved by the commission had also been accused of possible violations by political rivals.

Interim prime minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah vowed not to run for president as a condition of taking on his present role, and did not stand down from it three months before the vote as is required by a contested election law.

With Reuters

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