Most of the major cities in western, eastern and southern Libya are witnessing demonstrations demanding the departure of all existing political institutions and the holding of elections immediately.
The United Nations is making efforts to achieve a Libyan consensus on a constitutional basis according to which parliamentary and presidential elections will be held, in light of fears that the country will re-descend into civil war due to the presence of two conflicting governments, and the delay in setting a specific date for the elections.
Even a number of people and dignitaries in southern Libya, who support Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, expressed in a video statement issued by them their intention to form another government that would work to meet the needs and requirements of their region, similar to the eastern and western regions.
Despite the fighting and political rivalry in Libya, Libyans and the international community place high hopes in Libya’s presidential elections to end the war and divisions in the country since the 17 February 2011 revolution that overthrew the late leader Muammar Gaddafi. This will be the first presidential election in Libya’s history. 98 candidates have applied for it, and a second round will be held if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the first.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and the return of the “lost unit”
One of the most prominent candidates for these elections, who came as a surprise in the Libyan and international political community, and sparked great controversy, is Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, son of Colonel Muammar al-Qathafi.
A number of Libyans who still owe allegiance to Gaddafi, the father, see Saif al-Islam as a new symbol of the “unity of the country”, which he can lead along the lines of his father…
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has no political party, but on the other hand he enjoys great popularity among those who are nostalgic for the past and some former officials in the Libyan Jamahiriya, in addition to the clans and tribes that remained loyal to the Gaddafi family.
Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, 50, ran on November 14, and was excluded from the list of candidates due to court rulings against him, but he soon returned to the race following a court ruling issued on December 2.
As a reminder, Saif al-Islam holds a PhD in Philosophy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
He was one of the most prominent pillars of his father’s regime and a potential heir to governance at the time. He was arrested by an armed group in November 2011 in the Zintan region during the revolution, days after his father’s murder.
Then, in 2015, a death sentence was issued in absentia by firing squad, for his role in suppressing the revolution.
He disappeared for a long time and remained out of sight even after his release was announced in 2017, according to the controversial “general amnesty” law issued by the Libyan parliament.
He was wanted by the International Criminal Court for his involvement in war crimes to suppress the revolution, and the international arrest warrant issued against him is still valid.
He presented himself during these elections as the successor to his father, Muammar Gaddafi, as he appeared on the day of his candidacy wearing the dress and the brown turban, the outfit that his father was famous for always wearing.
He believes his return could restore the country’s “lost unity,” he told the New York Times magazine last July.
As part of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s search for the surest way to his success in the elections, he bet on the services of Tayeb bin Abd al-Rahman, the French-Algerian businessman with strong and influential relations, by appointing him as an adviser to defend his interests and support his appearance on the political and media scene. Who is the architect of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s return to the forefront of the political scene in Libya?
The architect of the return of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Born in Paris, bin Abd al-Rahman is a regular at Paris Saint-Germain’s presidential stand at Parc des Princes, and is best known for being close to former ministers Yamina Benguegui and Rachida Dati.
According to the available data, bin Abd al-Rahman is a businessman who previously invested in Qatar and rose for the first time in the field of logistics, land transport and construction within the Guinean group “F2B”, with which he has been associated since he was young, where he crossed over to the world of politics, with the facilitation of former ambassador to Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema.” Bin Abd al-Rahman was in contact with the Gaddafi family for several years, and is a spokesman for Saif al-Islam in Europe and Africa.
Some reports confirmed that bin Abd al-Rahman was the planner of the meeting that took place, on July 26 last year, in the Congolese capital between, Mohamed El Manfi, the head of the Libyan Presidential Council, and Denis Sassou Nguesso, the head of the high-level committee on Libya in the African Union.
As for the stages of the rise of Tayeb bin Abd al-Rahman, who was close to the former opponent French Guinean Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, the data indicate that he founded the Geopolitical Club, in 2016, and it is a think tank dedicated to geopolitical and strategic issues that allow him to establish new relations. He was collaborating with the Center for Strategic Studies, a conglomerate of European think tanks heavily involved in European institutions, as well as within the economic and strategic ecosystem.
Parliamentarians, diplomats and politicians such as Bertrand Besancinot, the former ambassador in Riyadh and Doha, Lansana Kouyate, the former Guinean prime minister, and Ghaleb bin Sheikh, President of the “France Foundation” participate in the conferences organized by bin Abd al-Rahman, who established a center for reflection and dialogue for the compatibility of civilizations.
The Algerian-born, Tayeb bin Abd al-Rahman, has assumed the role of spokesman for Saif al-Islam in Europe and Africa, and places the Libyan issue at the center of his concerns.
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