Libya: Son of former leader Gaddafi to run for president

The son of Libya’s late leader Muammar al-Gaddafi has registered as a candidate in the country’s first direct presidential election next month.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was once the heir apparent to his father, but his support for a brutal crackdown on protesters 10 years ago tarnished his image.

Since that 2011 uprising, Libya has been riven by conflict.

Rights groups have raised fears the vote, scheduled for 24 December, will not be free and fair.

World powers and the UN secretary-general have warned that anyone who tries to obstruct it or falsify the outcome will face sanctions.

Photos and video circulating online show Saif al-Islam Gaddafi sitting in front of a poster for the upcoming poll, signing electoral papers.

In the aftermath of Muammar Gaddafi’s brutal end, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was himself captured by a militia.

He was held for six years, receiving a death sentence that was later overturned.

Mr Gaddafi is still wanted on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court, but has gradually re-emerged onto the public stage.

After years of civil war and rival powers operating in the east and west of the country, Libya is currently led by an interim government but remains politically unstable.

Disagreement between Libya’s political bodies and opposing factions about the election rules and the schedule have threatened to derail the presidential vote.

Other candidates in the running are the warlord Khalifa Haftar who previously led an insurgency from his eastern base against the UN-backed government in Tripoli, plus Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah and parliament speaker Aguila Saleh.