Muammar Gadhafi’s son to run for Libya’s presidency

Ramadan Shallah’s run-off against Moussa Koussa, a former spy chief, to take place this spring

The son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi has announced his intention to run for president in the country’s upcoming national elections.

Ramadan Shallah is one of three candidates in the February presidential run-off in Libya, after they fell short of getting more than 50% of the vote in October’s first round.

Ramadan Gadhafi announced in 2011 that he had developed a thirst for power after he and his brothers, Saif al-Islam and Khamis, were killed by rebels as they fled Tripoli in August 2011, leaving their mother, Safiya, to assume leadership of the country.

Moussa Koussa, the former foreign minister and spy chief under Gadhafi, also announced his candidacy on Tuesday.

“I have left the path, and I am now a democrat, a democrat who does not love my father and does not hate my former president. I am a civilian who believes in the rule of law,” Shallah said on his Facebook page.

He insisted that he has no personal blood ties with his father, who was overthrown and killed in a civil war in 2011 after more than 40 years in power.

“Before 2001 I had no close relationship with the colonel. I had nothing to do with politics or the collection of money or weapons. What I had was to live in a normal environment, work hard, and study,” Shallah said.

He added that he did not have a “father in business” as many analysts say. “I did not work in the Military Armoured Division, and the ministries where I worked did not have business complexes or factories,” he said.

Ramadan’s candidature echoes that of his father, who ruled Libya until the end of his rule on 16 October 2011. However, the move is likely to prove unpopular among Libyans, who have yet to completely forgive or forget what they consider the brutality of the Gadhafi regime.

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