Qaddafi’s son says he’s done with politics

MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images Seif al-Islam al-Qaddafi, the powerful son of Libya’s mercurial strongman ruler, told a crowd of young Libyans Friday that Arabs are “living in a forest of dictatorships” and that Libya should become democratic. The New York Times is running an AP story on this with the headline, “Gadhafi’s son announces withdrawal from ...

593080_080822_seifalislam5.jpg
593080_080822_seifalislam5.jpg

MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

Seif al-Islam al-Qaddafi, the powerful son of Libya's mercurial strongman ruler, told a crowd of young Libyans Friday that Arabs are "living in a forest of dictatorships" and that Libya should become democratic.

The New York Times is running an AP story on this with the headline, "Gadhafi's son announces withdrawal from politics." If true, it would be significant, since Seif al-Islam has been spearheading Libya's economic reforms and its opening to the West and has been widely viewed as the heir apparent. The New Yorker's Andrew Solomon profiled him at length in 2006.

MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

Seif al-Islam al-Qaddafi, the powerful son of Libya’s mercurial strongman ruler, told a crowd of young Libyans Friday that Arabs are “living in a forest of dictatorships” and that Libya should become democratic.

The New York Times is running an AP story on this with the headline, “Gadhafi’s son announces withdrawal from politics.” If true, it would be significant, since Seif al-Islam has been spearheading Libya’s economic reforms and its opening to the West and has been widely viewed as the heir apparent. The New Yorker‘s Andrew Solomon profiled him at length in 2006.

“I have achieved my program. The train is currently on rails. I have no more big battles to fight and my position is becoming embarrassing,” Afrol News quotes the younger Qaddafi as saying. “I have decided no longer to intervene in state affairs,” AFP reports him announcing.

I’m skeptical. At some point, he’ll probably make a triumphal return in line with “the demands of the people” and be elected in some sham process. Gamal Mubarak has said similar things, and I’m sure Bashar al-Assad did the same. Just watch. He’ll be back.

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