After his release: What future awaits Libya’s Saif al-Islam Gaddafi?

Libya –  After more than five years in prison, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi resurfaced as a free man – his name back in the limelight, especially among supporters of his father, Muammar Gaddafi, who began mobilization efforts to bring the heir to the political scene. Can Saif al-Islam be a strong rival in the future race for power or will his return provoke a crisis?

At the moment, no one can predict Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s plans following his release from prison and whether he will return to the political scene by virtue of his supporters, or if he would prefer to remain in the shadows.

If we look at the Libyan arena and diagnose the political trends, we would find that the second son of Muammar Gaddafi, despite his absence for years, remains popular and admired by a group of Libyans, especially tribes loyal to his father’s regime which began to arrange for his return by forming the Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya and nominated him for leadership.

Political experience and social relations

Ashraf Abdel Fattah, member of the Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities, one of the most important gatherings still loyal to the former regime and supporting the return of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to power, considered that “most Libyans believe that he is the one capable to bring the country together and ensure its security, given his political experience and social relations with all regions of Libya which qualify him to be the key link between all these groups”.

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, attends a hearing behind bars in a courtroom in Zintan May 25, 2014. (Reuters)

In an interview with Al Arabiya, Ashraf Abdel Fattah disclosed: “The great popularity of Saif al-Islam will qualify him to have a political future in leading the country as he is the one who can solve all these complex problems, foremost of which is peace and social reconciliation among all the tribes. He is appreciated and respected among the tribes. In questionnaires carried out by several Libyan and foreign media, Saif al Islam Gadhafi top the charts with a large margin.”

Politically finished

However, another section of Libyan society rules out his return and consider him finished politically, with the fall of his father’s regime – with no way back, considering that his return to the political arena will complicate matters even further.

The political analyst Fawzi Al-Haddad ruled out in an interview with Al Arabiya that “Saif al Islam would have any role now”. Adding that “the Libyan problem will not be solved by the return of the former regime”.

He added that “the frustration is the reason why some Libyans believe that Saif al Islam Gaddafi will have the answers to the country’s problems, but in fact all the influential ruling powers are focused on the future of the country not the past, his return means a waste of the sacrifices made by so many to get rid of him and the regime of his father.

The Libyan journalist Faraj Mohammed Ali al-Maliki also agrees that: “The return of Saif al-Islam to the scene now will only complicate things for at least a few more years. Furthermore, he has no real supporter’s base.”

Categories: Africa,World News

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.