MURDERED Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi’s son is set to return to politics, just months after his release from captivity.
Saif al-Islam Gadaffi has been meeting politicians and tribal leaders in a bid to reunite the North African country divided between rival governments and factions since the 2011 Nato-led coup, his lawyer Khalid al-Zaidi told Russia’s Sputnik news in an interview published on Wednesday.
The Government of National Accord — installed by the United Nations in 2015 — nominally rules from the capital Tripoli, but it relies on the formerly Western-backed National Salvation Government’s Libya Shield coalition of insurgent groups from 2011 to enforce its will.
Most of the country, including the central oil fields and port terminals, is controlled by the Council of Deputies government in eastern Tobruk and the powerful Libyan National Army commanded by General Khalifa Haftar.
The two rivals have agreed to hold nationwide parliamentary elections next spring, but UN-brokered negotiations are continuing in neighbouring Tunisia.
Mr Zaidi accused the sides of “not working on stabilising the country but making deals with each other, defending their own interests, which are far from those of ordinary Libyans.”
He said it was only the “interests of foreign states, which only benefit from the prolonged Libyan crisis, that are being implemented during the talks.
“The current situation in Libya, the absence of dialogue and the misunderstanding of the actual state of affairs there make it essential that Saif al-Islam Gadaffi returns to politics to try to reach a political settlement,” Mr Zaidi insisted, claiming that his client was “Libyans’ only hope right now.”
But popular support for Mr Gadaffi is lacking — although it is greater than that enjoyed by the UN-backed regime — according to a new poll published on Wednesday.
The Libya Herald reported that only 10 per cent of respondents to the survey conducted in Tripoli and four other GNA-controlled western cities had faith in Mr Gadaffi’s ability to bring the chaos to an end.
But just 7 per cent believed that a unity government would fare better.
Apathy towards elections was also apparent.Just 8 per cent thought they would improve the situation, 37 per cent intend to vote and, of them, five out of six distrust existing the political parties and will cast their votes for independents.
Mr Gadaffi was released from captivity in June this year, more than five-and-a-half years after his abduction by militia from the western town of Zintan.
In 2015, he was sentenced to death in absentia by a Tripoli court for war crimes allegedly committed during the Nato bombing of the