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06/16/2011 08:25 am ET | Updated Aug 16, 2011

Gaddafi Elections Offer Extended: Saif Al-Islam

ROME (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi would agree to internationally supervised elections on condition there is no vote-rigging, one of the Libyan leader's sons told an Italian newspaper in an interview 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."
Saif al-Islam's comments came as fighting continued between rebels and troops loyal to Gaddafi without any clear sign of a breakthrough in the conflict.

(This story was corrected in the first paragraph to remove reference to eldest son)

(Writing by James Mackenzie; editing by Andrew Roche and Kevin Liffey)

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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