Former Libyan Official: Seif al-Islam Gadhafi Favorite to Win Elections

Former Libyan Official: Seif al-Islam Gadhafi Favorite to Win Elections

Tuesday, 2 January, 2018 - 09:45
Seif al-Islam Gadhafi in 2011. (Reuters)
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat
Former Libyan official Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam predicted that Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of former leader Moammar, was the favorite to lead the country should “transparent elections” be held, reported the German news agency (dpa).

He said that this victory would not be credited to the power of the Gadhafi family and its alliances, but the Libyan people, who have grown tired of the successive leaderships that have failed to rule the country since Moammar Gadhafi’s ouster in 2011.

Gadhaf al-Dam acknowledged the role of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in Libya and his achievements on the ground, but said that Seif al-Islam was favorite to win the elections if they were fair and honest.

“Haftar’s power is limited to the eastern region, as for the western and southern ones, we do not believe that he has much there,” he speculated.

“Talk about foreign support is useless because the Libyans consider this to be meddling in their affairs,” he remarked.

Furthermore, he ruled out the possibility that Haftar had struck a deal with the United Nations, which persuaded him to hold the elections.

Gadhaf al-Dam said that it was also unlikely that Haftar would resort to military action if political options failed.

“He does not have enough military power to do that,” he opined.

Moreover, he criticized UN special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salameh’s objection to holding dialogue with Seif al-Islam because he is wanted on international arrest warrants.

“What is Salameh’s position on the crimes that were not only committed against the supporters of the Gadhafi regime, but also against large numbers of the Libyan people?” asked Gadhaf al-Dam.

These crimes are well-documented and the UN is currently holding talks with their perpetrators, he stressed.

“Why is it adopting such double standards?” he wondered.

He stated that the accusations against Seif al-Islam are “not backed by any tangible evidence and most of them are driven by revenge.”

“The Libyans were the ones who proposed the possibility of Seif al-Islam running in the polls because they sense that he could be their way out of the chaos,” he explained.

“He himself has not made any statement on this issue and I believe that he will run in the elections if the conditions are appropriate,” he said according to dpa.

“Should he run, then he will not only garner the votes of the Gadhafi regime supporters, but the votes of several Libyans who have grown tired of the political figures that have contributed in ruining the country since 2011,” he stated.

In addition, he said that many Libyans realize that their demands for change in 2011 were exploited to serve foreign agendas that are aimed at looting their country’s wealth and prolonging its conflict.

Asked about the chances of other Libyan figures, such as former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril and current Presidential Council head Fayez al-Sarraj, in winning the elections, Gadhaf al-Dam said: “The ballot box will be the judge.”

“Sarraj is in a difficult position after the deadline for the Skheirat agreement passed,” he noted.

On the poor turnout for people seeking to vote in the polls, he said that this is not due to security fears, but to the Libyans’ lack of trust in the West and UN.

Envoys who preceded Salameh sought to manage the crisis instead of resolving it, he explained, while suspecting that foreign conspiracies are at play in order to keep the country divided.

This is demonstrated in how hundreds of ISIS terrorists, who fled Iraq and Syria, are being transported to Libya, specifically border regions with Tunisia, he remarked.

“What is the purpose of this? Do they want Libya’s stability or do they want to mark it with extremism and later declare an international military coalition to liberate it from ISIS?” asked Gadhaf al-Dam.

Such a move will not help end the crisis, he said, but it will only lead to the depletion of more of Libya’s resources and the continuation of military operations.

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