By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 21 May 2103:
Mahdi Harati, the former leader of the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade (Thuwar Trablus) and founder of the Liwa Al-Ummah brigade in Syria, plans to establish a political party called ‘Libya’. He says the initial work has been done and that an announcement will most likely be made in the coming weeks. The party will have new faces, he says, mostly drawn from what he calls disillusioned youth. The manifesto would reflect the wishes of those who want to see real change in the country, he adds.
Mahdi claimed to the Libya Herald that he had been considered by Ali Zeidan as a possible Minister of Interior before the Prime Minister today formally nominated Mohamed Khalifa Sheikh for the post. “My name was forwarded to the Prime Minister by some well-wishers,” he said. “Revolutionaries have been pushing me, ever since I got back, to take up some responsibility in the government to solve the growing number of problems. I had a couple of meetings with the Prime Minister’s adviser about a possible role as Minister of Interior but nothing was agreed.’
He claimed said that the main reason behind Libya’s security problems was the failings of the Interior Ministry, “Ashour Shuwail could have solved the security problem but he didn’t focus on it. A strong Interior Minister can easily bring about a change but nothing has changed. Even security on streets of the capital is deteriorating. It doesn’t matter if it is me or anybody else. The important thing is that the minister take charge and improve the situation.”
“They [the thuwar] want to see somebody [as Interior Minister] who they can trust, who can understand their problems. That is why, on their insistence, I agreed to accept the position if offered by the Prime Minister. My plan would be simple: you secure Tripoli and it affects all of Libya. I would use the thuwar to support the army and police by involving them as individuals and not as brigades,” he continued.
Regardless of whatever happens with the government, his political ambitions remain undaunted. “The coordination team that I’ve appointed is going on with the preparation of this new political party. We have finally decided to name it the ‘Libya Party’ and it will be formally launched in few weeks from now.”
Mahdi says that the people are tired of the internal politics of General National Congress and want to see change. “People voted for change but what they see are the same old faces. We want to change this and this is one of the main points of launching this new political party. Thankfully the Isolation Law has been passed and we will finally get rid of these corrupt faces that have destroyed Libya for decades.” He also said that his political party would encourage young people to come out and work to secure their future by working for their country.
“We want young leaders to take us forward and we will be focusing very much on this. We don’t want to compromise our impartiality and we would be very careful about the funding of our party. We are still finalising the procedures but we are considering funding either by the members to stay independent of any agenda or by some known figures that are neutral,” Mahdi stated.
He said he had been motivated to launch a political party as a result of continuous requests by revolutionaries who said they felt the interim government and the GNC were not paying “enough attention” to issues affecting them. “I observed the situation for several weeks before making this decision. Prior to this, it was suggested many times that I start a political party but I refused. This is a different. It is about empowering youth.
“We won’t tell the people how to pray, they don’t need it. We will only represent the wishes of people, they only need changes that directly affect their lives and that will be our mission.” [/restrict]