By Libya Herald correspondent.
Tunis, 16 December 2016:
The former head of the Transitional National Council Mustafa Abdul Jalil has changed his mind about restoring the monarchy as the only answer to stabilising Libya. He has now decided that as an alternative, Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter could be president.
Four days ago, speaking in a TV interview, Abdul Jalil suggested that the restoration of the former monarchy under Prince Mohamed Al-Rida Al-Senussi provided the best way of stabilising the country. He appears to still hold that view but says in his latest interview on the Hadith Al-Arab channel that if a restoration is not possible, then there are others who would make acceptable presidents.
One is Hafter, another is Jadallah Azzouz Talhi.
Talhi’s name was one of 12 proposed by the House of Representatives to the UN-brokered Libya Dialogue in September 2015 for consideration as Libya’s next prime minister.
However, the twice former General Secretary of the People’s Committee under Qaddafi and then foreign minister until 1990 is said to be in ill health and not interested to become involved in politics again. From eastern Libya but educated in Belgium (and a translator of French books into Arabic), he was appointed minister for strategic industries at the beginning of the 2000s. From the beginning of 2008 to the end of 2009, he was Libya’s UN ambassador.
For his part, Hafter is known to see himself as Libya’s future head of state but while strongly supported in parts of the country he is also seen as a divisive character who could never unite the country behind him.