By Libya Herald staff.
In battle of wills between General National Congress and House of Representatives, the House scored a knockout today.
Congress . . .[restrict]had hurredly decided on Sunday night to organise an handover ceremony in Tripoli today. At least 250 guests were expected – members of Congress and the House as well as political leaders and advisers and what few diplomats were left in the capital. The meeting was scheduled to take place at 11 am in the main Congress hall next to the Rixos Hotel. The TV cameras were there; the celebrations were to have started with the National Anthem and a Koran recitation.
It should have been the last highlight for Congress which has been, despite of all the criticism it has faced over the last three years, the first democratically elected body for 42 years. But it never happened.
In the middle of the afternoon, Congress press officials explained that the ceremony was being replaced by a simple statement from Nuri Abu Sahmain, its president – or perhaps by Saleh Makhzoom, the second vice president. They were not quite sure.
Since then, nothing further has been said. Congress has effectively ended, not with a bang, not even a wimper, but with silence.
The Libya Herald did, however, see about a hundred guests turn up at the hall. “We’re members of the House of Representatives”, said Aammar Al-Ablag, who was elected in Zliten. “There are between 20 and 30 of us.” He explained he was in Tripoli and not in Tobruk because “this meeting is the only one which is official because we were invited by the President of the General National Congress”.
This newspaper was then prevented from interviewing other guests.
Meanwhile, in Tobruk, 158 out of the new parliament’s 188 members elected so far assembled to conduct formal business.
The 30 absent – ten from Misrata, seven from the greater Tripoli area, five from Gharyan, three from Khoms, three from Benghazi and two from Sebha – may have been in Tripoli, but even there they were left out of the picture. [/restrict]