By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 3 February 2014:
Two General National Congress (GNC) members resigned during today’s session, reportedly in protest at . . .[restrict]the move to extend Congress’ life to the end of the year.
According to GNC spokesperson Omar Hemidan, National Forces Alliance (NFA) members Ibrahim Al-Gharyani (Benghazi) and Fariha Al-Berkawi (Derna) resigned for their own reasons. However, independent Zawiya Congressman Ahmed Tawfiq Yaqoub told the Libya Herald that they had resigned because they were opposed to extending Congress’ mandate.
Neither Gharyani nor Berkawi were available for comment.
According to Hemidan, the resignations were automatically accepted because they had been announced in person to the presidency and members of Congress.
He added that four other Congress members had also planned to resign today but had been dissuaded from doing so by other members on the grounds that the country was in enough of a crisis at present. He refused to name the four.
A pleased Yaqoub, who has had run-ins with Gharyani, called the latter’s resignation “the biggest gift to the Libyan people”. He confirmed that while Gharyani was announcing his resignation he had got down his knees in the Congress hall and thanked God.
“The main reason behind my action is because Gharyani was the biggest obstacle in Congress to any decision to move forward”, Yaqoub said.
The feelings were different about Congresswoman Berkawi, however.
“The Congress felt sorry because of the resignation of Derna Congresswoman Berkawi,” Yaqoub stated, noting that she was “a wonderful person and has been an active Congress member”.
Last month, independent Misrata Congressman Salahiddeen Omar Beshr Badi also submitted his resignation over the decision to extend the life of the GNC beyond this month.