By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 1 July:
The Nation Party (Hizb Al-Watan) held an event in the Suq Al-Juma district of Tripoli on Wednesday evening, the constituency of one of its main leaders, Abdul Hakim Belhaj. The event was attended by more than 150 people, with Belhaj addressing the crowd along with other leaders of the party.
Belhaj spoke about the many different issues now confronting Libya and about the vision of the party. “It is the youth who will protect the revolution and build a country of democratic institutions and that the National Conference is the first phase of re-writing the history of Libya”, he said.
He stressed the importance of protecting the rights of the families of martyrs as well as injured revolutionaries. He also said that education, health, security and stability should be prioritised and emphasised that Libya needs strong government institutions to deliver the promises of the revolution.
Belhaj praised the role of the revolutionaries of Suq Al-Juma. along with those in Tajoura and Fashloom and compared their courage and sacrifices to those made by the people in Benghazi. “Benghazi was the first spark of the revolution but the heroes of Suq Al-Juma, Tajoura and Fashloom along with other areas, were the patient ones who fought against the tyrant for six months from within.”
He also said that the right to information is very important and that many revolutionaries lost their lives to win this right for the Libyan people. He also said that Qaddafi did nothing for the people in 42 years and was made an example for the whole world to see. “History doesn’t forgive anybody. That tyrant destroyed our country and was made an example of by almighty God.
“The Libyan people need a state that can deliver justice and after the success of the 17 February Revolution it has been made possible,” Belhaj continued. “It is the responsibility of the Libyan people to elect the right people, who can realise the dreams of the common man.”
Speaking to the Libya Herald about a rumour that he had hit Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, the last prime minister of the former regime, upon his return from Tunisia, Belhaj denied the incident ever took place. “This is a rumour based on nothing! I was attending a party event in Benghazi with all the other members of the party when Al-Mahmoudi was brought to Tripoli. It’s irresponsible to report such a story without checking the authenticity of it.”
The event had two live performances for entertainment by local bands that played folk music and national songs. The response to the performances was mixed with some members of the audience appreciating the move while others criticised it saying it didn’t go with the values of the party.
The turnout is seen as low considering the importance and popularity of Belhaj. The party is now working on the main rally for the party on 4 July to show its popularity among the public. The leaders from many different cities will come to the capital to take part in the rally.
Umar Khan can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/umarnkhan