By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 26 July 2013:
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan reiterated his belief that he has sacrificed his personal political future by . . .[restrict]taking up the post of Prime Minister during this difficult transitional period in Libya’s history.
Speaking at Wednesday’s press conference, flanked by his Ministers of Electricity, Interior and Justice, Zeidan said that “if people think that we are keen to remain in our positions, then they are wrong”.
“I will not gain politically in the future because anyone who takes this role will have no future”, he admitted, seemingly writing his political future off.
Zeidan had been reacting to a difficult week marred by three different explosions in Tripoli, Benghazi and Sirte and chronic electricity cuts in Tripoli.
Calls in the media, for example, and especially social media, had increased for the sacking of the Electricity Minister due to the power cuts. Others were questioning Zeidan’s ability to take Libya any further forward.
The three Tuesday bombings had also added to the negative atmosphere. The Benghazi bombing was of a police station ostensibly by the owners of the land upon which the station is built.
The bombing of the Sirte Courts complex was probably, according to the Minister of Interior, by convicts released by the Qaddafi regime wishing to avoid being returned to prison.
The mortar attack that hit an apartment block in downtown Tripoli was directed at the Corinthia hotel, according to the Interior Minister, and seemed an escalation of the violent attacks all over Libya.
It is not the first time that Zeidan has resorted to giving the impression that he does not crave power and that he stays in the Prime Minister’s job purely out of patriotism. This seems to be Zeidan’s defence mechanism whenever he feels his position threatened.
He has also said in the past that his weakness as Prime Minister and that of his government reflects the weakness of the GNC and the Libyan state as a whole.
Whilst there is much truth in that, nevertheless, it is not clear if his critics buy his logic. What Prime Minister Zeidan does not seem to understand is that in real politic sometimes parliament – the GNC – and the public want change for change’s sake.
If Zeidan’s government continues – or is perceived – to perform poorly and the public start to put pressure on the GNC, it does not take much to think that Zeidan might find himself the convenient sacrificial lamb.
Zeidan is no doubt to a great extent banking on the fact that choosing a new Prime Minister will not be easy. It will take much political head banging at the GNC between the factious political groupings, and then there is the matter of getting past the Political Isolation Law.
Nevertheless, some critics reject the implication in Zeidan’s argument that no other person could give the position a go and do any better because the state is weak. Some argue that another Prime Minister could come with a new fresh outlook at existing problems with the possibility of different solutions.
The point is, politically, a new face always brings new possibility and most importantly, new hope. Hope – something that critics are fast running out of under the seemingly stagnant Zeidan and his government. [/restrict]