Qaddafi Jr wants Libya presidential elections as soon as possible

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Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the fugitive son of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, supports holding presidential elections as soon as possible, a representative said, criticising the United Nations envoy to Libya for his proposal to hold the vote only by year-end.

“Any delay creates more problems,” Mohamed al-Qailoushi, an aide to Saif al-Islam, said by phone on Saturday. 

“The only solution is elections: if you maintain the current political situation, that is not in the Libyan people’s interests.”

A summit on Libya hosted by Italy in November set a target of holding elections in the first half of 2019. But UN envoy Ghassan Salame said the presidential poll may not happen until the end of the year. “We should first hold parliamentary elections, then a referendum on the constitution and then presidential elections — God willing — by the end of the year,” he said in an interview with Al Hurra channel earlier this week.

Qaddafi’s son hasn’t announced his intentions whether to stand for president but last month he sent an envoy to Russia, which has become a key power broker in Libya, to ask for political support. A senior Russian diplomat later said Saif should be allowed to run if he wants to.

The question whether to be a presidential candidate “is a personal decision for Saif al-Islam,” said his aide, al-Qailoushi, who declined to comment on Qaddafi’s whereabouts.


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