Post-Gaddafi regime would be 'democratic and secular'
Representatives of the Libyan opposition's interim national council said in Paris that a post-Gaddafi regime would be "democratic and secular".
They also predicted late Tuesday that the embattled Libyan leader, who has continued to press against rebel-held towns despite a UN-backed military campaign, would fall quickly, opening the way for a rebuilding of Libyan society.
"The future Libya will be democratic and secular," said Mansour Saif Al-Nasr, an emissary, though not a member, of the interim council, based in the rebel-held stronghold of Benghazi.
"The Libyan people are a moderate people, and the state will not be led by clerics," he told a large gathering of writers, ex-ministers and reporters assembled by Bernard Henry-Levy, a French intellectual who helped facilitate France's recognition of the rebel authority.
The interim national council (INC) has 31 members, but the identities of only eight have been revealed because most still live in zones held by forces loyal to Gaddafi.
A second opposition spokesman, Ali Zeidan, said rebel forces needed military hardware to defend their positions and pressure the Gaddafi regime.
"We want the coalition to continue to destroy its military capacity," said Zeidan, the council's informal spokesman in Europe. "We have the men. What we are asking for is the arms."
Coalition forces -- led by the United States, France and Britain and including other European states along with Qatar -- have launched air strikes since Saturday, acting under a UN Security Council resolution authorising "all necessary means" to protect civilians in Libya.
Despite the limited scope of the UN mandate and lack of military hardware under rebel control, opposition leaders predicted a rapid end to Gaddafi's rule.
The conflict could be over "in 10 days if the air strikes continue with the same intensity to take out armoured cars and heavy artillery. We have enough men to march on Tripoli, we are sure of victory," Ali Zeidan said.