By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 17 August 2014:
The House of Representatives (HoR) member for Tripoli centre Ali Tekbali said that he anticipated a . . .[restrict]busy schedule for the House this week.
Speaking on the new “The Parliament” programme broadcast live on Al-Asseema TV last night, Tekbali said that one of the priorities of the HoR this week will be to carry out some “internal organization” such as the House’s internal bylaws and the formation of specialist committees.
There will be new decisions or laws every day, he anticipated, adding that the public are in anticipation and have an expectation from the HoR
“The specialist committees are necessary for follow up on decisions taken by the HoR in the various different fields”, Tekbali explained.
Disbanding the militias
Answering some initial criticism already of some of the HoR’s decisions of last week, Tekbali said that Representatives sought legal and considered council regarding the decision to set the deadline for the disbanding of militias for five months – until 31 December 2014. He, nevertheless, could understand the frustration of the public at this extended deadline.
The Representative said that they did not want to rush the decision and wanted to give militiamen a real opportunity to enroll into the regular army. He explained that having studied the financial details he can see why there is no financial incentive for militiamen to leave their militias and enroll in the regular army or police.
He believed that many of the militiamen were civilians who had or still have standard civilian jobs or occupations and that without the very high salaries the GNC had awarded them, many would leave their militias. Many were receiving higher pay than the highest ranked regular army officers, and therefore had no incentive to give up their militias. Many were in it just for the money, he believed.
Replacing the Chief of Staff
With regards to the questioning of the Chief of Staff Jadallah Al-Obeidi last week, Tekbali denied, contrary to media reports, that the House or its presidency had officially discussed replacing him or that they had considered some of his replacements, or that they are considering referring him to the Attorney General’s Office for indictment.
However, he did admit that there were a number of Representatives who were of the view that the Chief of Staff be replaced or even indicted.
Why has the CBL Governor not been called in for questioning?
With regards to the admissions last week by the Deputy Finance Minister that there were a number of questionable financial transactions that may need investigations, Tekbali was asked why was it that the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Governor had not been summoned for questioning.
Tekbali said that he expected that the CBL Governor would be called in and was surprised that the Governor had chosen to seek refuge (from coercion from armed militias) in Malta rather than in another safe Libyan city, such as Tobruk.
There are unconfirmed reports that the CBL Governor is already in Tobruk today.
New government, new Prime Minister?
Representative Tekbali said that he also expected the House to make a decision about the government and the Prime Minister.
Tekbali admitted that the current Abdullah Thinni Caretaker government was in effect the Ali Zeidan government. The first option would be to ask the government to tender its resignation and ask Abdullah Thinni to form a new government. The second option would be to ask someone else to form a new government. Either way, Tekbali expected that the government would be a small government of 9 or 10 ministers.
The situation of the boycotting Representatives
With regards to the 30 or so Representatives who have either chosen not to attend or who are actively for political reasons boycotting the HoR sittings in Tobruk, Tekbali said that a number of Representatives are considering implementing the HoR bylaws which stipulate that if a Representative misses eight sittings they can lose their position.
Asked if they would be replaced by the runner up in their constituency, Tekbali said that could best be answered by the High National Election Commission (HNEC).
Media coverage and Parliament TV
Responding to public criticism of the lack of TV coverage of HoR affairs and of the liver coverage of its sessions, Tekbali assured that the HoR was keen that there was more coverage and live transmission. He thanked Al-Asseema TV for its coverage and invited all media to provide coverage of HoR affairs.
Tekbali revealed that the HoR hoped to create a media centre and was considering creating a dedicated channel for the coverage of HoR proceedings.
It is worth pointing out that the two state-owned and state funded official TV channels, Al-Wataniya and Al-Rasmiya channels are boycotting the HoR and implementing a total blackout on TV coverage of the newly elected legislature.
Both channels have been taken over by use of force by anti HoR pro Islamist bloc militias. The HoR has had to rely on privately owned TV channels for coverage of its affairs. [/restrict]