By Noora Ibrahim.
Benghazi, 1 November 2014:
The House of Representatives will move from its temporary home in Tobruk to . . .[restrict]Benghazi once the city has been secured by the military but not before, the spokesman for the house has said.
Faraj Buhashem, the spokesman for the House of Representatives, told the Libya Herald that in accordance with the constitutional declarations made in June that the HoR would move to the city as soon as possible.
It was reported this week that the House of Representatives would meet in Benghazi as soon as 7 November on the back of recent gains in the city by the Libyan National Army (LNA). However Hashem said this was incorrect and that parliamentary sources quoted had been mistaken. “Once we are given the information that it is safe and that we can move, we will move immediately,” he said.
“The decision is linked to the actions of the security forces and is up to the relevant authorities,” he added. Buhashem explained that ultimately the timing of the move would be up to the House itself and would be discussed amongst its members.
The LNA and the House of Representatives by association have faced criticism over the actions of government supporters who have attacked the homes of known Islamists in the city. Days before the start of renewed fighting in Benghazi over two weeks ago, the pro-government force of Operation Dignity called on residents to help them drive Asar Al-Sharia and its allies of the city.
Buhashem reiterated recent calls by the House of Representatives for its supporters to refrain from the attacks. He said that by burning houses and attacking families the youth of Benghazi would become like Ansar Al-Sharia whom he blamed for hundreds of assassinations in the city. “These things are against the teachings of Islam,” Buhashem said.
There has been speculation that the House of Representatives might move to Jufra if Benghazi remains too dangerous to hold meetings. Hashem said however that this idea seemed unlikely to him and that he had no information about it.