Obama’s Republican rivals hail Kadhafi regime’s end

Republican presidential candidate and
Texas Governor Rick Perry
© AFP/Getty Images/File Darren Mccollester


WASHINGTON (AFP) – Republican White House hopefuls on Monday hailed the apparent end of Moamer Kadhafi’s iron-fisted rule of Libya and urged triumphant rebels to build a democratic government friendly to the West.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said whatever government emerges should “arrest and extradite” convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi “so justice can finally be done” — but did not specify to where.

“It is my hope that Libya will now move toward a representative form of government that supports freedom, human rights, and the rule of law,” Romney said in a statement.

Texas Governor Rick Perry declared that “the crumbling of Moamer Kadhafi’s reign, a violent, repressive dictatorship with a history of terrorism, is cause for cautious celebration.”

“The lasting impact of events in Libya will depend on ensuring rebel factions form a unified, civil government that guarantees personal freedoms, and builds a new relationship with the West where we are allies instead of adversaries,” Perry said in a statement.

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who served nearly two years as President Barack Obama’s envoy to China, said Kadhafi’s ouster would be “one chapter in the developing story of a nation in turmoil.”

“Kadhafi has been a longtime opponent of freedom, and I am hopeful — as the whole world should be — that his defeat is a step toward openness, democracy and human rights for a people who greatly deserve it,” he said.

The candidates spoke out after Libyan rebels declared the “Kadhafi era” over after taking control of most of Tripoli, as jubilant fighters streamed into the capital to join battles near the strongman’s compound.

World leaders hailed the rebels’ dramatic rout on Sunday of loyalist forces in Tripoli, urging Kadhafi to admit defeat, as Libyans around the world celebrated the veteran leader’s imminent downfall.

“The Kadhafi era is over,” rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil told a news conference in Benghazi, eastern Libya.

But Abdel Jalil also warned that he could quit as head of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) if he loses control of the revolution, amid possible revenge acts by insurgents.

Abdel Jalil said he hoped Kadhafi, who faces an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity, would be “captured alive so that he will be given a fair trial.”

He congratulated the Libyan people “for this historic victory” and thanked NATO for its military support, while cautioning that “the real moment of victory is when Kadhafi is captured.”

© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license

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