By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 27 August 2014:
Speaking in his first extended interview on Libya Awalan’s “An Hour on Air” programme, Faraj Buhashim . . .[restrict](Hashim), the newly appointed House of Representatives’ (HoR) spokesperson, condemned the fighting by militias, condemned the GNC’s attempted resurrection and Grand Mufti’s “divisiveness” as well as the Representatives still boycotting the HoR proceedings in Tobruk.
On the actions of the warring militias and their efforts to impose their will on the Libyan people as well as on its legitimately elected body, the HoR, Buhashim asked whether the militias had not learnt any lessons from recent history and the faith of Qaddafi and his militias in attempting to impose their will by the use of force on the Libyan people.
The official spokesperson acknowledged the support of Libya’s neighbouring countries in the recent Cairo conference and their recognition of the HoR as Libya’s sole legitimate legislative body and asked that they do not offer those opposing the legitimate Libyan state safe refuge in their countries.
With regards to the attempt by the GNC to resurrect itself in its latest meeting and its appointment of a shadow Prime Minister Omar Hassi, Buhashim said that the GNC was “a dead body that came out of the grave to try and find a way to negotiate.”
“We will not handover Libya. The HoR will look after Libya, its territorial integrity and its people. The HoR is the only legal and constitutional (legislative) body”, he stressed.
On the subject of the controversial pronouncements of the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadik Al-Gharian, the highest religious authority in Libya, during the clashes between militias in Libya, Buhashim said that the Mufti was “divisive and had lost his legitimacy – like the GNC. There will be a decision (by the HoR) regarding him soon”, he confirmed a much heralded and discussed move.
It is worth noting that the Grand Mufti has not kept a neutral stance in Libya’s political fighting, rather he has championed the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists both in the fighting in Benghazi and in Tripoli.
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, after being pushed out of office in March, had questioned the sanity of the Grand Mufti.
It is worth keeping in mind that the Grand Mufti, like the warring militias, is paid by the Libyan state, and, again like the warring militias, his office is recognized by the state and is under the authority of the legislature, the HoR, receiving a multi-million dinar annual budget. In the 2014 Libyan state budget the Mufti’s office was set to receive LD 4.2 million from the Libyan people’s money.
Reaching out with an olive branch to the HoR members that had boycotted the its proceedings, Buhashim said that they “should have attended in Tobruk. We would not have punished them or attacked them. We believe in people having a different opinion”, he stressed. [/restrict]