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Why Salame talked about Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi?

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Editorial

The United Nations envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, said, on a TV channel on Friday, that the supporters of the former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, can participate in the political operation in Libya.

Salame stated that the coming elections in Libya should be opened for all including Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi. He added that his office is open to welcome the supporters of Gaddafi openly.

Salame’s statements raised questions and expectations about the son of Gaddafi. Some asked if Saif Al-Islam, who is disappeared, is coming back to the scene or not. Who would allow him to return to Libya? Who would support him internationally? How would the factions in Libya react, especially the commander of the Dignity Operation, General Khalifa Haftar who considers Saif-Al-Islam as his rival?

Observers think that Salame is trying to convince the Libyan factions to go for the comprehensive national reconciliation in Libya and not to support Saif Al-Islam or Gaddafi’s supporters. However, other observers think that Salame likes to see the supporters of Gaddafi participating in the political operation.

According to Arabi21 website, the former member of the General National Congress (GNC), Abdul-Fattah Al-Shelwi, said that Salame talked about Saif Al-Islam, but he meant the supporters of Gaddafi’s regime to help the Libyans to accept the proposed solutions.

Al-Shelwi added that Salame puts his proposals in front of the Libyan factions to make them accept them not for discussions.

From his side, the member of the House of Representatives (HoR), Saleh Fheama, said that calling for the participation of Saif Al-Islam is not only Salame’s will, but it is also the point of view of most of the Libyans who started missing Gaddafi’s times.

Fheama added that Saif Al-Islam and Gaddafi’s supporters are supported among many Libyans, clarifying that some of those supporters exist in the HoR and the Presidential Council (PC). He stressed that Saif Al-Islam would find the official and public support if he participates in the elections.

Fheama stated that the Libyan factions find no way only to support Salame’s statements because they won’t be able to stand against the popular circles and also the international support would obey the Libyan support for Saif Al-Islam.

The secretary of the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Libya, Abdul-Monem Al-Hur, said that some of Gaddafi’s supporters refuse Saif Al-Islam because they accuse him of preparing for the 2011 revolution against his father as he allowed the opposition to participate in many activities in Libya before the revolution.

Al-Hur stated that the competition factor and the existence of big competitors in and outside Libya such as Haftar and the head of the PC, Fayez Al-Sarraj might gain their popularity, which would prevent Saif Al-Islam from jumping in.

He added that there is no hope for Saif Al-Islam in participating in the elections because the Libyan people’s mood is not easy and no one could predict what way they choose to go through.

Observers said that if the International Community desires to see the supporters of Gaddafi coming back to the scene, it means that they want a change in Libya similar to the change that happened in Egypt in 2014 that brought the supporters of Mubarak’s system in the personality of the current president, Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi.