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article imageOp-Ed: Tripoli-based Libyan parliament attacked by gunmen

By Ken Hanly     Sep 17, 2015 in Politics
Tripoli - According to reports in the Libya Herald, a media outlet favourable to the internationally-recognized House of Representatives government in Tobruk, gunmen have attacked the rival General National Congress(GNC) parliament in Tripoli.
Both the Libya Herald and Xinhua have reported on the attack but it is otherwise unconfirmed. The pro-GNC, Libya Observer, has yet to comment on the incident.
The attack happened as the GNC met to discuss acceptance of the amended Libya Political Agreement(LPA) and also to propose names for some members of the planned Government of National Accord(GNA). There was reported to be heavy gunfire in Tripoli. Opponents of the dialogue draft Salah Badi, Sami Saadi, and Abdurraouf Al-Manaie were reportedly behind the attack. However, the Herald says this has not been confirmed. Those named object to the dialogue and draft because they take the position that after the Libyan Supreme Constitutional Court ruled last November that the HoR election was unconstitutional, the HoR parliament was dissolved and the GNC is the only legitimate legislature. Even the agreement as amended to deal with GNC concerns has the HoR as the only legitimate legislative body in the GNA.
The Xinhua version of events says that the GNC parliament was stormed by unknown armed men. In contradiction to the Herald, it claims there are reports that the Misrata Halboos miltia were responsible for the attack.
Everything in the Herald report is noted as unconfirmed. It was not known whether the session was abandoned. Reports also said that a prominent supporter of the dialogue had been seized. The Misrata Halboos militia brigade had been ordered to protect the GNC. The GNC reportedly was already surrounded by military vehicles as a precaution against just such an attack by opponents of the deal.The paper says that Nuri Sahmain the GNC president does not approve the deal. Grand Mufit Sheikh Ghariani also opposes the deal. The GNC delegates were actually scheduled to return to Skhirat Morocco yesterday with the names for candidates.
Bernardino Leon was starting meetings to discuss names for the prime minister and his two deputies today. There is not only division in the GNC but in the HoR as well. The HoR rejected the newest draft since it includes changes demanded by the GNC. It called back its delegates to Tobruk. The matter is to be debated this Sunday while the talks reconvened today, September 17. However, two of the HoR four delegates remained in Skhirat. There is further division in Tobruk with prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni being prevented from attending a conference he arranged in Malta. Security personnel tried to arrest Al-Thinni on orders of the commander of the armed forces,Khalifa Haftar. In another conflict, Haftar is accused of trying to assassinate Ibrahim Jodran, leader of the militia that guard the eastern oil port facilities. Jodran's militia also spoke out against Haftar's attempt to arrest prime minister Al Thinni as he was about to fly to Malta.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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