By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli/Benghazi, 20 August 2015:
The president of the House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh Gwaider, announced he was suspending . . .[restrict]his membership of it yesterday in a stormy debate over the appointment of Masoud Erhuma as Defence Minister.
According to HoR sources, he made the announcement and angrily walked out, stopping proceedings, after members had voted in a closed session to appoint Erhuma to be post.
Erhuma was asked by Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni to take on the post in October 2014 but without formal HoR endorsement he has been “acting defence minister” since then. Thinni is said to have requested the HoR formally appoint him last week. Despite support from a majority of members, including many in the west, from Zawia, Warshefana, Zintan and Erhuma’s hometown of Rajaban, the nomination has been fiercely opposed by Ageela Saleh as well as by the head of the Libyan armed forces, Khalifa Hafter. Thinni was reportedly asked to withdraw the nomination but declined.
Refusing to accept the vote appointing Erhuma, the president of the HoR claimed that the issue had not been on the agenda. He also suggested that the acting minister stood accused of a number of offences, alluding allegations of corruption.
With his departure from the hall, the proceedings effectively stopped, preventing any further movement on Erhuma’s appointment.
Ageela Saleh is said to have suspended his HoR membership for 10 days. The House is not due to meet again until next week, but his presence is not necessary for any new session. [/restrict]