Igtet rallies supporters in Gharyan
By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 6 October 2017:
Some 200 supporters turned up in Gharyan yesterday to meet Baset Igtet, the businessman who is presenting himself a new leader for Libya. He was in the mountain town south of Tripoli as part of his campaign to rally support across the country for what is being called his “25 September Movement” – the date of its inaugural rally in Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square last month.
As in Tripoli, many who turned up yesterday in Gharyan were said to be Islamist or Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers, but proportionally the turnout was much higher than in the capital where altogether some 2,000 people turned up in Martyrs’ Square – and many of them were spectators rather thn supporters, but also included a small group of opponents.
This is seen as reflecting that fact that since the revolution Gharyan has had a significant Islamist constituency, and its own pro-Islamist militia. It was a strong supporter of the former Libya Dawn regime, although now its civic leaders try to pursue a middle way.
Although his campaign is now widely seen as severely damaged following reports linking him to militants and Islamists, notably by online publication Al-Marsad, and support for him coming largely from the same quarter, Igtet plans a number of other rallies in the new few weeks.
Reports that after Gharyan, Igtet was refused permission to the nearby town of Al-Asaba have not been confirmed. It is claimed that the town’s security directorate and a local militia objected on security grounds.
Al-Asaba has built up a reputation as a peacemaker and mediator between other belligerent communities in the region.