By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 14 August 2013:
At today’s press conference, Prime Minister’s Ali Zeidan said that the government prefers to remain silent . . .[restrict]when it has nothing worthwhile to say.
The Prime Minister said that whilst he “understood people’s reaction” to events and crises, but the government had to be “patient” and “considered” in its remarks and “reactions”. “That is why we chose silence”, he explained.
“We only want to speak when there is something useful to say”.
Zeidan was reacting to criticism that on numerous occasions his government’s silence has been deafening – at the exact time when the general public are looking to the government for answers and leadership.
This has particularly been the case during major crises such as the numerous occassions of bombings, assassinations and attacks on barracks and public and private property.
The general public have often been left in limbo and a state of information vacuum, with no official government or state body being able to offer any reliable information on events.
It has therefore often been left to the general public, individuals, the media and social network sites to fill the information vacuum. This has often led to inaccurate reporting and information.
Many analysts have interpreted the government’s silence as a sign of fear, weakness and ignorance of the facts. On the one hand, some have claimed that the government is as much in the dark as everyone else is on the facts of events that are fast occurring around it.
Others have said that even if the government knows what it should do, it is too weak infrastructurally and politically to act. It is either restrained by the political make of the government and GNC or by its weak infrastructure – including the police and army.
Others have interpreted the government’s choice to remain silent as a sign of fear of naming the perpetrators of crimes and terror acts – in case it is targeted. Some have even seen their silence as a form of collusion.
Defenders of the government say that, in the new Libya, a Libya of courts, processes and rule of law, the government wants to wait for due process and evidence that can stand scrutiny in a court of law.
However, critics have said that what Zeidan and his government fail to fully understand is that even saying that they do not have any solid information is sometimes better than the vacuum of silence that is filled by misinformation and rumours. [/restrict]