Elections will follow once HoR’s take control of Tripoli: HoR president – Al Marsad

Libya, 13 April 2019 – The president of the House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh, has said that national elections will be organised once the army finishes its operations in Tripoli. He was speaking on Saturday at the HoR’s first session to take place in Benghazi.

Stating that the Presidency Council and its government of national accord were under the control of militias in Tripoli with the UN Support Mission (UNSMIL) merely looking on, Saleh praised the armed forces and the various tribes that supported it for the sacrifice that they were making for the country. He also praised “brotherly and friendly” countries that stood with Libya in its war on terrorism. He called, too, on foreign government to ensure that frozen funds were protected but also to lift the arms embargo on Libya’s armed forces.

The army was guarantor and defender of democracy and state institutions and would protect the lives of the Libyans and foreigners as well as their property, he said. But it was necessary to rid Libya of terrorist organizations and criminal groups that looted public money.

Calling for genuine national reconciliation and for the displaced to be able return to their homes, he said the country had to turn the page if there were to be security and peace throughout the country.

The HoR has completed many important laws, such as the amnesty law and the referendum law, he added. He blamed the Presidency Council for not funding the process, which he claimed proved that it did not want to go down the democratic track. In any event, it and the State Council were illegal, he stressed.

It was orginally intended that the HoR would be based in Benghazi, but in 2014 it was considered too dangerous to meet there and so it went to Tobruk. It is unclear whether holding the session in Benghazi is a symbolic gesture to show that it is secure but that the next one will be back in Tobruk, or if sessions will now be held permanently in the country’s second city.

It is reported that 32 out 196 members turned up.

A number of members opposed to the LNA’s Tripoli offensive have complained about the legality of the Benghazi sitting. They say they plan to hold a session in Tripoli in the next week or so, and will vote for a ne president.

They have, however, been saying that for over a year.

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