By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 22 October 2013:
Protestors calling for Prime Minister Ali Zeidan to be toppled, and disappointed by the low turnout . . .[restrict]at their demonstration outside the General National Congress (GNC) today, claimed that Zeidan had orchestrated another protest to sabotage their rally.
Some ten war-wounded, claiming to be from Ajdabiya and demanding treatment abroad, broke into the Congress hall this morning, forcing the GNC to suspend their sitting, and damaging furniture. They left after negotiations with the Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room (LROR) which Zeidan has accused of being behind his kidnapping.
The anti-Zeidan protestors, however, said the incident with the war-wounded had been orchestrated by Zeidan and implemented by the head of the self-proclaimed Cyrenaica Council’s political bureau, Ibrahim Jadhran, to ruin their demonstration. Despite being well-advertised and expected to attract a large crowd, only around 25 people actually turned up this morning.
Jadhran’s office in Ajdabiya has denied that he organised the dispatch of war-wounded to Tripoli. There were also claims on Twitter that the head of Ajdabiya’s Injured People Society had also said that none of the town’s injured revolutionaries had left for Tripoli.
In the capital, a well-equipped tent, with laptops and refreshments, has been erected just outside the main gate of the GNC and the protestors say they will remain there until Zeidan leaves office. The tent was decorated with banners, one which said: “Zeidan = Jadhran = Naji = bribe.” They also claimed to have collected the signatures of some 500 people who say they are against Zeidan’s government.
Passing motorists, however, seemed less than interested in the small protest, with many winding up their windows to prevent being handed flyers.
Congresswoman Amina Mahjoub, Justice and Construction Party member from Sorman, joined the protest. “The problem is Zeidan himself,” she told the Libya Herald, pointing out that there was no security, no defence, no army and no police. “What is the obstacle for Zeidan to rebuild these security forces?” she asked. “He has the budget and the support from the decision makers.”
She added that 133 GNC members were ready to give a vote of no confidence to Zeidan before his abduction. She described his abduction as being like a play that Zeidan himself had orchestrated.
Another Congress member, Mohamed Al-Kilani, implicated on Sunday by Zeidan in the Prime Minister’s kidnap on 10 October, gave the protestors a wave of encouragement as he walked past.
With input from Ayman Amzein