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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Gaddafi son unveils reform plan
Sayf al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
Mr Gaddafi said his father's leadership was not up for debate
The son of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, has announced reform plans, including an independent central bank and free media.

Sayf al-Islam Gaddafi also called for a national dialogue on a new constitution to strengthen Libya's political system.

But he said Islamic Sharia law, security issues, Libya's territorial unity and his father's leadership would be kept out of any political debate.

Sayf al-Islam holds no government post, but is his father's most trusted envoy.

He has denied reports that he is being groomed to succeed his father.

'People's contract'

In a speech broadcast live on state media, Mr Gaddafi said the current political system, which mixes Islamic ideas with some socialist principles, was flawed.

Society needs to have independent media to highlight corruption, cheating and falsification
Sayf al-Islam Gaddafi

He said it criminalised political dissent and banned the creation of political parties and a freely-elected parliament.

"The next challenge for Libya is to draft a package of laws which you can call a constitution but they must be endorsed by the people to become a contract between all Libyans."

He announced plans for the creation of several independent bodies to "sustain Libya's prosperity and stability".

"Society needs to have independent media to highlight corruption, cheating and falsification. Libya must have an independent civic society and independent bodies."

Turning to economic reforms, Mr Gaddafi detailed an $80bn (40bn) development plan, launched last year, to improve the North African country's infrastructure and economy.

Funds would be used to upgrade Libya's water and sanitation system, and transport links. He said new houses would be built and grants awarded to start private businesses.




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