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Libyan official: Elections coming soon

By the CNN Wire Staff
October 23, 2011 -- Updated 0052 GMT (0852 HKT)
The chairman of Libya's National Transitional Council Mahmoud Jibril says elections will be held within eight months.
The chairman of Libya's National Transitional Council Mahmoud Jibril says elections will be held within eight months.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Libya will approach its prewar oil output in 15 months, an official says
  • Interim leaders will declare Liberation Day on Sunday
  • Libya is seeking a new constitution
  • NATO is scaling back operations

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Libya's interim leaders will declare liberation on Sunday and hold elections in the coming months as the war-torn country works toward building a new society in the post-Moammar Gadhafi era.

Mahmoud Jibril, chairman of the National Transitional Council executive board, said elections "should be within a period of eight months, maximum." He spoke at the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

The first vote will be for a National Congress that will draft a constitution. After that, parliamentary and presidential elections will be held.

Jibril said that oil-rich Libya is currently producing around 300,000 barrels per day, up from near zero during the depths of the conflict.

The country should be back at its prewar output of 1.6 million barrels of oil per day within 15 months, he said.

Gadhafi's death Thursday solidified the power of the NTC, which will mark the country's liberation on Sunday in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the uprising started.

NATO, which launched an operation to protect Libyan citizens against the Gadhafi regime during the Libyan war, plans to ends its operations by October 31.

Speaking in his weekly address Saturday, Obama said Gadhafi's death "showed that our role in protecting the Libyan people, and helping them break free from a tyrant, was the right thing to do."

"Our brave pilots and crews helped prevent a massacre, save countless lives, and give the Libyan people the chance to prevail. Without putting a single U.S. service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives. Soon, our NATO mission will come to a successful end even as we continue to support the Libyan people, and people across the Arab world, who seek a democratic future."

Questions persist about what would happen to Gadhafi's body, which was on public display Saturday at a Misrata meat market cooler. Queues of people lined up to view the corpse, which appeared to have a bullet hole on the left temple.

His family issued a statement Friday calling on the United Nations and Amnesty International to push Libya's new leadership "to hand over the bodies of the martyrs of their tribe so they can be buried according to Islamic rites," a pro-Gadhafi TV station reported.

Libyan and world powers wanted to capture Gadhafi and prosecute him for war crimes.

The U.N. human rights office and activist groups like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have called for a probe into his death amid questions over the final moments of the late Libyan strongman's life. They want to know whether Gadhafi was killed in crossfire or executed by fighters.

"There are at least two cell-phone videos, one showing him alive and one showing him dead. Taken together, these videos are very disturbing," human rights office spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Friday.

"We believe there is a need for an investigation and more details are needed to ascertain whether he was killed in the fighting or after his capture."

Human Rights Watch, which is also calling for an internationally supervised autopsy and an investigation into the death, said it is unlikely that Gadhafi was killed in crossfire.

Peter Bouckaert, the group's emergencies director, told CNN that fighting had ended when Gadhafi was cornered in a drainage ditch. He said crowds beat Gadhafi in what was a "humiliating end" for the former dictator.

"When he left the area, he was very much alive," Bouckaert said. "There's no reason why he should have been subjected to this kind of mob justice."

CNN's Dan Rivers and Victoria Brown contributed to this report

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