Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—In an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, the spokesman for the Libyan General National Congress (GNC), Omar Humeidan, said that Libya’s parliamentary body will resume its sessions on Sunday.
GNC meetings were temporarily suspended on Tuesday, October 22, after wounded rebel fighters demanding government assistance stormed the meeting rooms used by the GNC at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli. This is not the first time that Libyans wounded in the armed uprising against the Gaddafi regime have stormed the GNC demanding financial assistant and treatment abroad.
“The GNC will convene next Sunday in the same hall that was stormed by a group of injured Libyans demanding better treatment,” said Humeidan, adding, “The way they put forward their demands was inappropriate.”
In the interview, Humeidan told Asharq Al-Awsat that some of the country’s political blocs have threatened to withdraw from the GNC. According to the spokesman, some of the “liberal and Islamist [blocs] said they would not attend next session unless their demands are considered.”
These demands include “forming a commission of inquiry to investigate into the kidnapping of the prime minister,” Ali Zeidan, after the Libyan leader accused some GNC members of being involved in his abduction. The GNC members accused by Zeidan “said they would not participate in the GNC until after the incident is investigated,” Humeidan told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Some members of the GNC are also demanding an investigation into the composition of police forces, as well as inquiries into monetary grants given to the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, a militia group that was implicated in Zeidan’s abduction. Leaders of the Operations Room group have denied their involvement.
However, Humeidan confirmed that GNC members calling for these investigations would attend the next session and an “agreement has been reached, after nine of their demands were approved by Nouri Abusahmin,” the GNC’s president.
In response to questions about the political isolation law that excludes people who held posts in the former Gaddafi administration from political life for ten years, Humeidan agreed that it was issued specifically to remove certain people from the government, such as former interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril. The GNC spokesman maintained that Jibril’s removal led to the emergence of a “liberal pro-government trend and an Islamist anti-government one.”
Humeidan added that some of the blocs that were “considered to be affiliated with the Islamist trend, such as the Ya Beladi bloc, have seen their liberal members [leave to] form their own blocs.” He agreed that Islamist are no longer the dominant force in the GNC, saying that the “liberal bloc is much larger.”
The GNC spokesman also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “we cannot predict” whether Ali Zeidan’s government will last, given the many crises facing Libya. He added, “There is no use in toppling the government now because the next one will have no budget.”
Humeidan did not preclude the possibility of a second revolution taking place, due to “people’s resentment and dissatisfaction with the deteriorating security situation.”
However, he was quick to stress that any such attempt would descend the country into a new cycle of chaos.