By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 27 October 2013:
Today’s General National Congress (GNC) sitting was the scene of a mass walk-out, by 94 members, . . .[restrict]who left in protest over last-minute changes to the agenda of the session.
They later released a statement explaining their decision came after the agreed agenda was unexpectedly changed by Congress President Nuri Abu Sahmain. The altered agenda, it said, suited his own interests rather than those of the Congress.
The original agenda had included a request to cancel the establishment of the Libyan Revolutionaries Operation Room (LROR), set up by the Congress President and accused of involvement in the kidnapping on 10 October of the Prime Minister. Another item was a proposal to form a committee to investigate the allocation of LD 900 million to LROR and various revolutionary brigades by Abu Sahmain which, members said, was a constitutional violation. They also had expected to discuss restricting the powers of the President of Congress, including his assumption of the post of Commander on Chief, and to vote for a new First Deputy President. The post has been vacant since the departure of Juma Ateega who resigned following the enactment of the Political Isolation Law. The vote for a replacement has been postponed on more than one occasion.
The walk-out was particularly embarrassing because the session was the first to be televised live in more than five months.
Abu Sahmain said members who refused to attend the sitting were blocking the legislative authority’s path. If they wanted debate, he said, they should attend Congress sessions in a national and legal debate for everyone.
Most of those who attended today’s sitting were from the Justice and Construction Party (J&C). Most of them spent a good deal of the time attacking the Prime Minister and his government. Members from Benghazi stayed on to argue that today’s session should have concentrated on addressing the city’s security crisis.
Responding to the walkout, Congress’ Second Deputy President, Saleh Al-Makhzoum, has said that negotiations would take place with the 94 members. [/restrict]