By Taher Zaroog.
Misrata, 9 March 2014:
Reacting to the arrival of an oil tanker in Es-Sider to load . . .[restrict]oil sold by Ibrahim Jedhran and the so-called government of Cyrenaica, demonstrators in Misrata yesterday demanded the government be replaced for its failure to safeguard the country’s borders, ports and resources.
They also called for political organisations and parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the National Forces Alliance, to be banned.
Between 200 and 300 demonstrators, including members of the Union of Misrata Revolutionaries, civil society activists, and ordinary Misratans of all ages, gathered in front of the city’s Sheikh Mohammed Mosque to air a number of grievances and make various demands.
Proclaiming solidarity with the revolutionaries in Benghazi who, they said, were being attacked and murdered, the protestors claimed there was a deliberate move to exclude them all from the scene and steal the revolution, notably by political organisations. Banners called for the suppression of such organisations, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood and the National Forces Alliance, and an end to party involvement in the political system. Instead, they said, there should be greater participation of revolutionaries in it.
The inclusion of the Brotherhood in the demands is seen as surprising. Misrata is generally viewed as sympathetic to it.
However, the protestors said they rejected the February Committee proposals of early elections for a fresh Congress and a state president – a position more in keeping with Misrata’s previous calls for Congress to remain in office. But, in a statement, they also said they agreed with Congress’ road map, which would see early elections take place if the Constitutional Assembly cannot come up with a draft by July. Such elections, the protestors insisted, had to be in line with the standards of the political isolation law.
Demanding change, the protestors called on Congress to sack Ali Zeidan and replace his government with one consisting of revolutionaries “loyal to the nation and the blood of the martyrs”.
The statement ended with a warning that the revolutionaries were keeping an eye on “criminal gangs plundering the wealth Libya” and that they were ready to meet the call of duty to protect the country and the revolution. [/restrict]