By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 19 August 2014:
Tobruk City Council member Freeh Yaseen in a live TV interview yesterday confirmed that the House of . . .[restrict]Representatives’ (HoR) floating hotel, a small cruise liner, had arrived at the port of Tobruk.
Yaseen, speaking on the now regular end of HoR session programme transmitted live from Dar Essalam hotel in Tobruk by the privately owned Al-AssemaTV channel, said that it will be used as temporary residence for HoR members.
The Tobruk Councilman said that the hotel could accommodate about 200 people and would probably be used to house all the HoR members in one location. He explained that currently many HoR members are dispersed in different hotels because the Dar Essalam hotel was occupied with other people associated with the HoR.
Yaseen also said that the hotel could be used for visiting VIPs as well as members of local and international media.
He also explained that although the small cruise liner had already arrived a few days ago, it had not docked at its intended quay and would do so in the next day or two.
The Councilman was clearly delighted that his city had been given the historic opportunity to host a democratically elected Libyan parliament, but admitted in all honesty that his city was “surprised by the last minute decision” to be asked to host the HoR.
It will be recalled that Libya’s democratically elected parliament was supposed to convene in Libya’s second largest city, and historically during the kingdom years its second capital, Benghazi.
However, due to the poor security situation in Benghazi, as well as the fighting between militias in the obvious second option to host the HoR, Tripoli, the HoR had to frantically search around for a last minute base days prior to its date of convening.
“It was a fait a accompli” the Tobruk Councilman admitted, “we had no choice, and in all honesty, we were not ready to host it. But we carried it off successfully”, he concluded on a self congratulatory note.
The HoR had approved the step in an effort to solve the problem of overcrowding in the small city of Tobruk and due to the limited range of quality hotels in the eastern city located about 200 km from the Egyptian border.
Unconfirmed reports say that the cost of hiring the cruise liner for 45 days, believed to be from Italy, is in the region of LD 5 million. [/restrict]