By Libya Herald staff.
Tobruk, 25 August 2014:
Nuri Abu Sahmain, the former president of the General National Congress, is just an ordinary . . .[restrict]citizen and Congress no longer exists or has any legitimacy, the head of the House of Representatives and the Prime Minister said this afternoon.
Speaking in a joint press conference in Tobruk, Ageela Saleh and Abdullah Al-Thinni were responding to events earlier in the day when a handful of former Congress members turned up to meeting in Tripoli convoked by Abu Sahmain and decided to appoint a new prime minister.
“The procedures and meetings that have been taken by Abu Sahmain are invalid,” Thinni said, “He is now an ordinary citizen. . . The House of Representatives is the only legitimate body in Libya.”
For his part Saleh denounced Abu Sahmain’s announcement of a new government, declaring it unconstitutional. It was up to the HoR to decide on a new government, and it would do so in its own time.
As for those who were trying to physically prevent members of House returning to Tobruk, they were committing a “criminal offence”, he said.
In wide ranging series of statements on Libya’s present crisis, the two also condemned the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, who in recent days has repeatedly used his position to attack the House as well as support Operation Libya Dawn in Tripoli and the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council.
“The Grand-Mufti has issued illegitimate and incorrect fatwas”, the Prime Minister said, condemning Ghariani for being ideologically motivated and issuing statements that were not job.
Saleh added that the House would now discuss Ghariani’s position sooner rather than later.
Repeating that he had sacked Deputy Defence Minister Khalid Sharif, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, because he had left the country without permission, Thinni pointed out that Tripoli was not safe for the government: “Most of the ministers have received threats, and the headquarters of Council of Ministers is not safe at all,” he said.
Refering to the fact that many people’s Tripoli homes, including his own, and had had been attacked and torched in the past 24 hours , he called those responsible “cowards”. They were not real revolutionaries, he said, comparing them to, instead, to members of the Qaddafi regime who wanted to impose their own ideology by force. But Libya could not be ruled by force he warned; it was now impossible to impose ideology on the country.
It was not all doom and gloom, Thinni nonetheless noted. “Crude oil production now amounts about 600,000 barrels a day (b/d) – a reassuring positive rate – and revenues will be good,” he said. Moreover, oil experts anticipated that exports would continue to grow, he added, with “normal rates” by the end of October.
Before the revolution, Libya exported 1.6 million b/d. The figure was around 1.5 million b/d before the eastern oil terminals were closed down by Cyrenaica federalists a year ago.
As to foreign help in confronting Libya’s problems, Thinni said that his government was looking to the UN Security Council to approve measures to help the situation.
Saleh, who said that a law on terrorism would be passed soon, added that HoR members were visiting Egypt, France and US in search of support and that he himself was going to Egypt tomorrow to meet President Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi. [/restrict]