By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 5 August 2014:
I attended the Tobruk House of Representatives meeting for two reasons”, explained moderate and independent member . . .[restrict]for Janzour Aymen Saifennaser.
“One, to avoid the division of Libya into three geographical and political regions, and two, the arrival of large numbers of House of Representatives members in Tobruk. The assurances from some of them that it is safe (in Tobruk), allowing for members to take decisions free of (coercive) pressures”, was also a factor, he explained. “This safety and security and lack of coercion was confirmed to me upon my arrival Tobruk”.
“I was committed, together with many members, to the aim that Saturday’s meeting was to be a consultative one. This was so as not to contravene the General National Congress’s (GNC) president’s (Nuri Abu Sahmain) decision to convene on Monday 4th and not on Sun 2nd August, or to contravene the Transitional Constitutional Declaration and its amendments – which we stuck to”, he explained.
“Whilst in Tobruk, we continued and still continue to be in contact with those House of Representatives members who did not attend and continued – and continue – to invite them to attend the Tobruk meeting, including Mustafa Abushagur”.
Saifennaser stressed that there was no truth in the news that House of Representatives members were already discussing or drafting new laws and legislation, as the House had not even elected its leadership yet. The news that had circulated on social media networks that military figures regularly visited the Tobruk House of Representatives meeting was also untrue, he explained.
There was also news on social media questioning the real number of the House of Representatives members that did actually turn up in Tobruk. Some said only 70 or 90 had actually turned up whilst others said the attendance register that was posted on the House of Representatives’ Facebook page was a fake, the numbers listed were amended and had duplications in it. There was also suspicion as the numbers coming out of Tobruk kept changing upwards over Saturday and Sunday.
Janzour member Saiefennaser said that he had “counted the members personally” and that their exact initial number on Saturday when he had arrived were 144. However, 6 more members arrived late on Saturday evening (150), and another 8 arrived on Sunday, giving a final total of 158 members.
Giving an early impression and flavour of the internal dynamics and of the new members, Saifennaser said that when he attended the discussions over the choice of the House leadership, he noted that it was devoid of the usual debates witnessed in (the GNC) in sharing and dividing up posts and on insisting on a balanced (geographical and tribal) distribution of posts.
Moreover, Saifennaser felt that the debate and discussion was devoid of any outside interference. It was practical and the election process was very sound, he added.
“What made the job for us more difficult was the convening of the House of Representatives meeting during difficult circumstances with fierce killing in Tripoli and Benghazi. And with the fighters thinking they would conclude the fighting within days of the start of Ramadan. Tripoli and Benghazi entered into a humanitarian crises causing many families to flee (the areas of fighting) making normal life impossible”, explained Saifennaser.
“The fighting intensified and became fiercer and spread leading the country to a state of chaos and paralysis which drove me to first put efforts into stopping the fighting and then joining the House of Representatives to work so as to unite the word and the lines and commitment to the demands of the public and our electorates”.
“All this made the job more complicated and forced a decision by most House of Representative members to hold the first meeting in Tobruk”.
“What led to the country being in the grave situation it is in today is the sharpness in dealing with matters large and small, and differences on the details that do not matter and the absence of wisdom and self-esteem and the distrust of others and their exclusion and the questioning of their honesty”.
“It is also the exaggeration and the opening of worthless sub-files which has fueled the conflict between politicians, on the one hand, and between the elites and the bloggers and activists, and even many of the common folk on the other hand”.
The result is that this has “got us to a state of strange irrational division. Everyone is agreed on the objectives, but differ on the means and the share of these objectives”, explained Saifennaser.
There is, therefore, “no longer any alternative to the convening of House of Representatives”, the Janzour member explained “and the initiation of a mechanism of action to get us out of this political crisis and the formation of working groups to communicate with all parties to end the fighting first and then, stop the chaos of arms (proliferation) and communicate with all parties to achieve this. This can only come from commissioning a working group for this task after the completion of the establishment of the House of Representatives”.
“We should continue to demand that our fellow House of Representatives members who did not attend the House of Representatives convening to attend and complete the House, and work together with us to solve the problems of our country. We are at a time when the country cannot afford to be split up”, concluded Saifennaser. [/restrict]