By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 24 August 2014:
HoR distances itself from cruise liner
House of Representatives (HoR) member for Tripoli, Hay Al-Andulous, Misab Al-Abed, . . .[restrict]has denied that the HoR has held any of its meetings in the floating hotel cruise liner that has been hired for them.
On the contrary, Representative Al-Abed said that Representatives have requested that the small cruise liner be returned. Moreover, the Representative was at pains to point out that the cruise liner was hired by the government, and not by the HoR, in an effort by the government to solve the accommodation problems for media and VIP visitors in the relatively small city of Tobruk.
The government has so far refrained from making any comment about the matter f the hiring of the cruise liner. On another occasion, Tobruk Local Council had claimed that they had hired the cruise liner.
It is worth noting that the hired cruise liner has attracted some public criticism in view of its alleged high price tag and the public perception that HoR members would be enjoying a five star quality of life on it – at the very time Tripoli and Benghazi are going through tough times.
It is for this perception that HoR members have been keen to distance themselves from it and have refused to use it, even for meetings, or even board it.
New Chief of Staff, government and extra budget
On the issue of the appointment of a new Chief of Staff, Al-Abed said that a consensual and non divisive figure would be appointed.
On the matter of the government seeking an emergency supplementary budget, Representative Al-Abed said that the HoR is unlikely to agree to their demand for more money from the reserves.
The government should continue to disburse the chapter one money (wages) which it is receiving, until a (full as opposed to the present “caretaker”) crises government is formed which would receive the full budget.
On the choice of a new government, ministers or top officials, Representative Al-Abed said that any appointments would be made transparently and on a meritocratic basis, otherwise no appointments would be made at all.
International help to protect civilians from fighting
Communications with the international community continue, said the Representative, and there is a positive response from all the international community regarding the ongoing fighting in Tripoli and Benghazi.
The international community has indicated that it will do all that it can possibly do in order to stop the fighting and the protection of civilians and the reduction of deaths and injured and the displaced, said Al-Abed.
An HoR member to be official spokesperson
Other news emerging from the HoR in Tobruk is that no agreement has been reached yet on the choice of an official spokesperson, but that it is agreed that the spokesperson should continue to be a member of the HoR, as had been the case with the General National Congress.
The delay in the appointment of an official HoR spokesperson is having an adverse affect on the quality and quantity of the official flow of information out of Tobruk, which in turn forces the media to use personal channels and contacts for HoR news – which may or may not reflect the official HoR line. [/restrict]