Following Tuesday’s car bomb in the car park of the Dar Al-Salam Hotel in Tobruk, where the House of Representatives (HoR) has been meeting since August, tomorrow’s session is to take place at the navy base at the port.
Security – both for the HoR and the country – will be the main issue at the session. Members will discuss whether or not to return to the hotel, which saw some of it windows blown out in Tuesday’s bombing, or remain at the naval base. They will also discuss whether or not to replace their head of security at the hotel. If they do, it will be left to the Defence Committee to appoint a replacement.
The main debate, however, will be on whether retired General Khalifa Hafter and over 100 other officers should be formally allowed back into the armed forces – despite launching Operation Dignity last May in Benghazi, he is officially retired – and whether he should be appointed Chief of Staff. Any actual appointment, however, is the hands of the president of the HoR, Ageela Salah Gwaider.
The debate is likely to be bitter.
Some members of the HoR support him – one told the Libya Herald today that there was “no other solution” for Libya other than appointing him as chief of staff. Other see him as part of the problem and are determined that he should not be formally reintegrated into the armed forces.
Meanwhile, following the attack on the Dar Al-Salam Hotel, it has been decided to move several of the HoR’s offices elsewhere. A new building is being taken over to house the media department, protocol and other offices. The priority for many of the staff this week, however, has been the power cuts and the lack of internet. There was no electricity for 48 hours.
The decision about going back to the hotel will not affect members personally. None has been staying there. They are being accommodated elsewhere in the town – in apartments, or with locals.