By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 25 August 2014:
An attempt by the former General National Congress to resurrect itself and take back power . . .[restrict]turned into farce today as it tried to “appoint” an emergency government to replace the caretaker administration of Prime Minister Abdullah-Al-Thinni.
According to a former Congress official, just 20 members turned up to the meeting that asked Omar Al-Hassi to head an emergency administration. Moreover, of those only five actually partcipated in the decision. However, Al-Nabaa TV, which opposes the House of Representatives and supports the Libya Dawn operation in Tripoli, claimed that 80 former members were present and that another 14 were awaited to make the “session” quorate.
In any event, even if there had been 94 members at the meeting, no appointment would have been legal under Congress’ own rules which stated that 120 members were needed to appoint a prime minster. Nor would anyone appointed by Congress as prime minister be accepted internationally. He might have the support of some towns and militias, but his administration would certainly be boycotted by the international community and would not be able to access any finds held abroad.
Originally from Shihat but now based in Benghazi, Hassi, a former member of the National Transitional Council, is seen as a firm Islamist and linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. He is a now member of the Benghazi Shoura Council, set up largely by Brotherhood members and supporters earlier this month in opposition to the Ansar Al-Sharia-dominated Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council.
In April, he was the favourite of the Brotherhood’s political wing, the Justice & Construction Party (J&C), when Congress made its bid to replace Thinni with a new prime minister. In the vote, he came second to Ahmed Maetig who went on to a victory in the second round, only to find himself then humiliatingly rejected by the Constitutional Court.
Intriguingly, earlier today, Maetig’s media office was quoted claiming that he too had also been contacted by Congress officials asking him to lead up a new government.
Today’s “session” had been called by Nuri Abu Sahmain, its former president, in what was claimed as an attempt to try and stabilise the political situation in the country and end the increasingly dangerous polarisation – a state of affairs many Libyans accuse him of having helped create in the first place.
All members were sent a text message yesterday telling them to turn up at 11am today at the old Congress building next to Rixos Hotel, according to Amina Omar Al-Mahjoub, the J&C’s former member from Sorman. She said yesterday that she would most definitely be attending.
It is unclear whether today’s debacle will convince Abu Sahmain or the rump of the GNC that it is now history. “It’s crazy”, said one prominent Libyan political figure who did not want to be named, almost certainly summing up what the majority of Libyans feel about Congress’ bid to come back to life.
However Abu Sahmain, undeterred, has since issued an “order” sacking Thinni and appointing Hassi. The latter was given a week to come with a government which is supposed to then be sworn in by Congress. [/restrict]