By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 24 February 2014:
Five Congress members were prevented from boarding a plane at Labrak Airport yesterday evening by . . .[restrict]protestors demonstrating against the General National Congress (GNC) continuing in office.
National Forces Alliance (NFA) Congresswoman for Beida, Zeinab Al-Targi, told the Libya Herald that she and four colleagues were stopped on the tarmac, while trying to board a flight to Tripoli. She said the group was small but determined; and that the Congress members were not going to be allowed to board. She added that she left the airport after waiting half an hour.
Najah Salouh Abdussalam, Salah Said, Abdul Jalil Ezzahi, and Mohammed Hassan, all GNC members for Beida, were also stopped from boarding the plane.
Targi said she was sure that workers at the airport were complicit in the protest, adding that she knew that a large number of people in Beida were angry about the GNC plans to continue in office.
“I am myself against the extension of the GNC, and without another election, and I am on record as saying so,” she said. “We have to listen to the people,” she added.
A security official at the airport, speaking on condition of anonymity, said police had not intervened in the incident because demonstrators had not used force. He added that the police considered the issue a civil matter.
GNC members for Benghazi, Mohamed Khalil Al-Zarooq, Abdulrahman Addebani and Ali Refai Zubi were also stopped from travelling to Tripoli on 10 February from Benghazi under similar circumstances. Airport security claimed the congressmen could not leave to attend Congress as it no longer had legitimacy after its original mandate supposedly expired on 7 February.
There have been limited popular protests demanding the GNC be dissolved and re-elected. Six congress members have resigned this month over the decision.