Libya elders urge elections boycott over Seif al-Islam Gaddafi presidential bid

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (left) in Sebha, registering to run in Libya’s December presidential polls. (AFP/Libyan High National Election Commission Facebook page)

Elders from several cities called for a boycott of presidential elections and protesters shut voting stations in western Libya on Monday after Gaddafi’s son registered to run.

Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, whose whereabouts have been secret for years, on Sunday became the first heavyweight candidate to sign up for the December 24 poll.

But an influential council of elders from Misurata, called for an election boycott.

The council rejects “the candidacy of those who used excessive force against the Libyan people’s uprising and who are the target of arrest warrants from Libyan courts and the International Criminal Court”, it said in a statement.

It urged “free patriots” to protest against the election taking place before a constitutional basis was agreed.

A member of the electoral commission, the HNEC, told AFP that “residents protesting at the candidacy of Seif al-Islam Gaddaf in presidential elections closed down several polling stations” in the west.

The official, who asked not to be named, said there had been no violence and voting stations had not been damaged.

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