Tripoli, . . .[restrict]6 November:
Some GNC members, fed up with three days of siege by gunmen around the National Assembly building, proposed today that sessions be moved to Beida, where local officials had said that they could guarantee security.
The move was defeated by 79 votes to 33, but clearly demonstrated the frustration felt by legislators, who also complained that they were fed up with having abuse hurled at them as they come and go from the building.
A GNC member for Tripoli, Mohamed Tummi said, “I was one of those who made this proposal, but the proposal only got little support from GNC members.”
Saleh Jaouda, a GNC member for Benghazi said the attacks and abuse could no longer be tolerated: “ We, at the GNC felt that we either remain with dignity or find another place where we can hold our meetings. We then prepared a memorandum containing this proposal. I noticed that all GNC members that signed the proposal were from the western mountains to Tobruk in the east.”
Asked why he thought Beida would be a safer location for the GNC, Jaouda replied: “Our only guarantee is the verbal promises made by the officials and elders of Beida , which they expressed through various media sources.”
He added that even if the violations against the GNC in Tripoli cease, the GNC transfer proposal is still being considered: “We held a consultative session and agreed for the proposal to be left for future meetings. Some GNC members have actually paid a visit to Beida and examined the proposed headquarters where future GNC conference sessions can be held. The final decision will be left to be decided at the GNC meetings, as is always the case.”
Jaouda added that changing the GNC’s location would not in anyway effect the decisions made by the congress. Nor, he insisted, did it in any way encourage the call for federal state, as, he said, many people seem to think.
“We encourage people to express their opinions,” he asserted, “be it in Tripoli, Benghazi or in any Libyan town or village, but this can only be done in a civil and peaceful way. After all, this will always be a guaranteed right. But what we cannot tolerate, is the threatening approach and the storming of the GNC chamber, in an attempt to influence our decisions.” [/restrict]