By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli/Tunis, 8 November 2015:
Several members of the General National Congress (GNC) are reported to have been physically prevented from entering . . .[restrict]the GNC’s hall today by supporters of GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain. He is said to have ordered the action because of fears that in addition to a vote in favour of the proposed Government of National Unity (GNA), they would sack him as GNC president because of his moves to frustrate the vote.
Abu Sahmain allegedly used supporters, headed by boycotting HoR member Abdurraouf Manaie, as well as political activist Mohamed Busaifi, to keep the doors of the conference hall closed and suspect members of Congress out.
A small demonstration also took place this morning outside the GNC headquarters, allegedly approved by Abu Sahmain, at which protestors tried to intimidate those in favour of his removal.
“Abu Sahmain used some gangsters to prevent members from holding a meeting because the majority in the GNC now is with the proposed government,” a GNC member said this evening, asking not to be identified.
“Abu Sahmain has been doing this for some time because he knows that a majority of the members support the new government”, he added.
Today’s action came after a record 71 GNC members were reported to have had demanded the military and security powers given by Congress to the president last year be revoked.
Up to 80 GNC members are said to have lined up behind Nizar Kawan, leader of the Justice and Congress party in the GNC, and Misratan politician Abdurrahman Sewehli, to remove Abu Sahmain.
However, at present, they appear unlikely to succeed because he is able use his presidential powers to decide when GNC members should meet.
Last week, a more opaque document, seemingly signed by 50 GNC members, appeared on social media demanding that Abu Sahmain and Congress take a clear stand on the Dialogue agreement and the GNA. Its authenticity cannot be guaranteed.
A similar document also circulating on social media and apparently signed by 87 members of the House of Representative, endorsing the Government of National Accord and the Libya Dialogue agreement, is meanwhile likewise being dismissed by opponents in the HoR because, they allege, it contains fake signatures.
If the 50 GNC signatures are correct, it represents a major move forward. Just over a fortnight ago, only 25 members of the GNC could be gather to state agreeing to the Dialogue accord, and the GNA. However, only one of them, Abu Qassem Igzeit from Misrata, put his name to it. The 24 others said they dared not, fearing reprisals from hardliners. [/restrict]