Libya's elections commission dismissed reports that it had rejected Seif al-Islam Gadhafi's candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections.
Commission spokesperson Khaled al-Mennai told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the official website and social media accounts of the electoral commission were hit by "cyberattacks."
He explained that reports published online of Seif al-Islam Gadhafi's candidacy being rejected were removed shortly afterwards.
"There was no decision (taken by the commission) regarding Saif al-Islam's candidacy," al-Mennai said.
Meanwhile, elders from several cities called for a boycott of presidential elections and protesters shut voting stations in western Libya on Monday after Seif al-Islam registered to run.
An influential council of elders from Misrata, a city which played a key role in the 2011 uprising that toppled his father, 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 High National Elections Commission (HNEC), told Agence France Presse (AFP) that "residents protesting at the candidacy of Seif al-Islam Gadhafi 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.
Seif al-Islam Gadhafi announced Sunday his candidacy for the country's upcoming presidential and parliamentary polls to be held on Dec. 24, Libya's HNEC said.
Seif al-Islam, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity related to the 2011 uprising, submitted his candidacy papers in the southern town of Sabha, 650 kilometers (400 miles) south of the capital of Tripoli, HNEC said in a statement.
Gadhafi’s son was captured by fighters in Zintan late in 2011, the year when a popular uprising, backed by NATO, toppled his father after more than 40 years in power. Moammar Gadhafi was later killed amid the ensuing fighting that would turn into a civil war. As a result, oil-rich Libya spent most of the last decade spilt between rival governments – one based in the capital, Tripoli, and the other in the eastern part of the country.
In a video shared by an election official, Seif al-Islam addressed the camera, saying that God will decide the right path for the country's future. He wore a traditional Libyan robe and turban, and spectacles. It was the first time in years that he appeared in public.
He was seen as the reformist face of Gadhafi's regime before the 2011 uprising. He was released in June 2017 after more than five years of detention. In July, he told The New York Times in an exclusive interview that he was considering a run for the country's top office. His candidacy is likely to stir controversy across the divided country.
ICC spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah declined to comment on Seif al-Islam's candidacy. “The Court doesn’t comment on political issues, as for the legal side there is a pending warrant of arrest and that hasn’t changed," he said.
Gadhafi’s son, who has deeply rooted links to tribes across Libya, is the first major presidential hopeful to submit his candidacy to run for the country’s highest post. Other potential candidates include putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar, the commander of eastern-based forces in the civil war, Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh and former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.
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