By Saber Ayyub.
Tripoli, 1 April 2015:
Libya’s already farcical political scene took a further step towards the absurd last night with Omar . . .[restrict]Al-Hassi refusing to accept the continuing General National Congress’ decision to sack him. He said he would go only if the country’s “revolutionary fighters” (the thuwar) agreed he should go.
“I will comply with this decision if my revolutionary partners agree,” he declared on TV following yesterday evening.
In a press conference yesterday evening, Hassi, who described the decision as a surprising, challenged the GNC’s right to sack him without first questioning him, adding that it could not question him without a budget being passed. He also complained that he had repeatedly requested Congress to allow him to reshuffle his cabinet but that it had not responded. He said he was taking legal advice as to the situation.
His dismissal yesterday on ground of financial mismanagement followed a threat by 14 of his ministers and two deputy ministers to resign if Congress did not sack him.
Opening up the prospect of a power struggle in Tripoli, the revolutionaries to whom Hassi has appealed have rallied behind him. The Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room has rejected the GNC decision claiming that it alone is the sole legitimate authority in Libya. It also threatened to “eliminate” anyone in the GNC who was against Hassi.
The split reflects a similar one taking place within Libya Dawn, the real arbiter of power in Tripoli, between pragmatists, particularly from Misrata, and revolutionary militants whose ideology is increasingly Islamist.
For its part, Libya Dawn, in a statement published on its Facebook page, says said that while it does not question Hassi’s integrity, he has to go and should not make a fuss about it.