By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 6 September 2013:
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Abdulaziz says he intends to sue the Justice and Construction . . .[restrict]Party (J&C) over allegations of “financial and administrative corruption in the ministry”.
“I respect partisan politics in Libya, but such accusations impugn my reputation and career as a minister who works 17 hours a day, seven days a week,” Abdulaziz said today.
Speaking at a press conference attended also by the Prime Minister, he said he challenged anyone, “whether members of Congress or parties, to question my work and patriotism”.
The only way to deal with the matter was through the legal system, he said. If the J&C had any evidence they should present it to the court instead of publicly insulting the ministry.
Ali Zeidan also attacked the J&C which in the past week has stepped up attacks on the government and himself, criticizing the performance of both despite the fact that a number of ministers are from within its ranks.
The J&C had no right to question the government’s performance, he declared, because it knew perfectly well “that it had forced me, when I was appointed prime minister, to accept its members as ministers”.
“For national cohesion and recognition of the role of the parties” he had accepted that it be in five ministries – Electricity, Oil, Housing, Economy and Sports.
Zeidan was responding to the J&C’s latest salvo, attacking his visit to Cairo on Thursday and Friday. The J&C had said that it was an explicit recognition of the “coup” that brought down the Muslim Brotherhood leader President Mohamed Morsi. The visit, the Brotherhood-linked J&C had said in an official statement, was inconsistent with the principles of the 17 February Revolution, in which the Libyan people had sacrificed tens of thousands of martyrs for the sake of freedom and respect for human rights.
Rebutting the accusation, Zeidan said that his visit to Egypt was not to congratulate the new Egyptian government but for the sake of Libya maintaining relations with Egypt as a neighbouring country. As an independent state, he insisted, Libya would not interfere in Egyptian affairs, regardless of who was in power there. [/restrict]