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Gaddafi son calls for democracy

16 September 09 12:16 GMT

The son of the Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi has called for greater democracy in global governance, writing in his doctoral dissertation.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said the current system of global governance was "highly undemocratic".

He hit out at undemocratic states whose governments were "authoritarian, abusive and unrepresentative".

His father Muammar Gaddafi came to power in a coup in 1969 and has ruled Libya for 40 years.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 37, continues to play a prominent role within the Libyan political landscape.

He reportedly helped negotiate the release by the Scottish government of the dying Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds.

He spent four years researching his 428-page thesis while studying at the London School of Economics, according to the Times of London newspaper.

The dissertation is called "The Role of Civil Society in the Democratisation of Global Governance Institutions: From Soft Power to Collective Decision Making?"

Mr Gaddafi wrote: "I shall be primarily concerned with what I argue is the central failing of the current system of global governance in the new global environment: that it is highly undemocratic."

He continued that his dissertation would "analyse the problem of how to create more just and democratic global governing institutions", focusing on the importance of the role of "civil society".

'Strong moral reasons'

Mr Gaddafi wrote that elected representatives should be introduced into non-governmental organisations, and that would result in more democratic global governance.

He argued that there were "strong moral reasons to look at reform of the World Trade Organization" because he said power was too concentrated in the hands of a few northern states.

Although being seen as helping to repair relations with the US during the Presidency of George W Bush, he was critical of Mr Bush.

He described the US as the "new Leviathan" and wrote that the "behaviour of the Bush Administration does not invalidate the liberal view that we can build meaningful international rule by law and institutions based on expectations and reciprocal obligations".

Mr Gaddafi hired consultants Monitor Group to carry out a survey of non-governmental organisation (NGOs), which provided data for his thesis.

He ended: "I believe the evidence presented in this thesis suggests that the collective decision-making approach has real potential and deserves further examination."

Saif al-Islam is the second oldest of the Libyan leader's seven sons, but has denied reports he is likely to succeed his father.

He has said that would be inconsistent with Libya's progressive system.

He has played a role in opening up Libya's oil and gas fields to international business.

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