By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 12 October 2013:
The head of the Justice and Construction Party (J&C), Mohamed Sawan, has responded to Thursday’s kidnapping . . .[restrict]of the Prime Minister by saying that he should resign. Speaking to Associated Press, he accused Ali Zeidan of mismanagement, saying that it was likely to be the real reason why he had been abducted. As it was, Congress was looking for a replacement for him, he added. Nonetheless, he criticised the “irresponsible behaviour” of those involved in the abduction.
His statement is seen as an attempt to preempt action against his party by the government.
In his TV address yesterday evening explaining the circumstances of his abduction, the Prime Minister indicated that there were members of Congress who had been involved in the conspiracy against him and that action would be taken against them. It is widely believed that he was referring to members of the J&C.
In his comments today, however, Sawan said that Zeidan had not been speaking about his party.
Sawan’s call for Zeidan to go is not new. Early last month, he demanded that he be investigated by Congress and removed in a no-confidence vote if, as he alleged, the Prime Minister had been responsible for all Libya’s difficulties. At no point, though, did he suggest pulling his five J&C ministers out of the government.
Behind the scenes in Congress, however, he and his party were known to be trying to pull together the 120 members needed to vote Zeidan out. There were reports, when it became clear that the numbers were not going to materialise, that the J&C then offered a truce with Zeidan. But this was never confirmed.
Having survived his ordeal in Thursday, Zeidan’s position is now seen as greatly strengthened and that of Sawan and the J&C consequently weakened.