At least two of Moammar Gaddafi’s sons are backing a plan to remove their father from power and enable a transition into a constitutional democracy in Libya under the stewardship of his son Seif al-Islam el-Gaddafi, according to a report in the New York Times.
The Times said it received this information for a Libyan diplomat and another Libyan source, but it is not clear if Gaddafi himself supports the proposal or is even aware of it.
In addition, such a measure – if it ever comes to pass – would likely not satisfy rebels fighting Gaddafi since they are seeking a more drastic change in who runs the country’s affairs.
The Times report indicates that Gaddafi is increasingly relying on his sons (he has at least seven of them) as he endures more defections from his inner-circle of advisors and becomes more isolated.
In addition, there are apparently rifts among the sons themselves over what direction Libya should take -- Seif and Saadi favor Western models of economic and political policy while Khamis and Mutuassim are regarded as hard-line reactionaries.
The Times said that Mutuassim, a national security adviser who also commands his own militia, is reportedly challenging Seif as the person most likely to succeed their father as Libya’s next leader.
The two sons “want to move toward change for the country” without their father, the Times quoted a source to the sons saying.
“They have hit so many brick walls with the old guard, and if they have the go-ahead, they will bring the country up quickly.” One of the sons, according to this unnamed source, has said that “the wishes of the rebellion were his own.”