Gaddafi ready to hold elections

Muammar Gaddafi would agree to internationally-supervised elections on condition that there is no vote-rigging, the Libyan leader’s eldest son told an Italian newspaper in an international view published on Thursday. “They could be held within three months. At the maximum by the end of the year, and the guarantee of transparency could be the presence of international observers,” Saif al-Islam told the daily Corriere della Sera. He said the elections could be supervised by bodies including the European Union, the African Union, the United Nations or even Nato, which has been bombing Gaddafi’s forces.

“The important thing is that the election should be clean, that there should be no suspicion of vote-rigging,” he said. “I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of Libyans stands with my father and sees the rebels as fanatical Islamist fundamentalists, terrorists stirred up from abroad, mercenaries on the orders of (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy.”

He said his father would be ready to step aside if he lost the election but would not go into exile. “He will never leave Libya. He was born here and intends to die and be buried here, alongside those he holds dear.” “Let’s go to the polls and may the best man win,” Seif told reporters.

Meanwhile, at least five anti-Gaddafi rebels were killed and 30 wounded when they came under sniper attack in three villages they seized on Wednesday in western Libya, hospital sources said. The attacks took place in the villages of Zawit Bagoul, Lawania and Ghanymma, the hospital sources said.

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