Ali Zeidan’s kidnap was an “attempted coup”
Libya’s PM Ali Zeidan has said his brief kidnap this week was an “attempted coup”, blaming his political opponents for the attack.
In a TV address to the nation, Ali Zeidan said an unnamed political party in the congress was behind the abduction.
Ali Zeidan was seized from a Tripoli hotel on Thursday and held for several hours by armed militiamen.
He praised the armed groups that came to rescue him and later called for calm in the increasingly lawless country.
In the TV address with members of his cabinet standing staunchly around him, Ali Zeidan said that his kidnap “bears the hallmarks of an attempted coup d’etat against legitimacy”.
“A political party”, he said, was behind what he described as the “criminal and terrorist act”.
Referring to his political opponents as a “dangerous minority”, Ali Zeidan said they had tried to secure enough votes in the congress to have him dismissed.
“When they failed to bring down the government through democratic means, they resorted to the use of force,” he added.
Ali Zeidan has previously spoken of the conservative parties in the assembly trying to undermine his government, and many now will be watching to see if this latest short-lived abduction will become a game-changer in Libya’s political landscape, our correspondent adds.
The US, UK and France, along with the UN, have condemned the abduction and pledged their support for Libya’s transition to democracy.
The motive of the abduction is unclear but some militias had been angered by last Saturday’s US commando raid in Tripoli to capture senior al-Qaeda suspect Anas al-Liby.
Many militias are under the pay of the defense or interior ministries – in the absence of an effective police force or military – but their allegiance and who really controls them is in doubt.
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