Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Libyans demand elections despite armed factions


Hassan al-Werfali (Benghazi, Cairo)

Protests broke out in several Libyan cities yesterday against chronic power outages, and citizens defied armed forces to express their anger at the government’s failure to make life unbearable during the summer months.
In Tripoli’s Martyrs Square, hundreds gathered to chant for electricity and condemn the country’s two rival governments in the biggest protests in at least two years.
Demonstrators chanted slogans calling for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries from all Libyan towns and cities.
Smaller protests involving dozens took place in Benghazi, Tobruk and some smaller towns.
Demonstrators in Tripoli chanted slogans expressing their displeasure at the conditions, and they demanded a change of government and electricity supply, as well as elections.
Armed men were seen near Tyagis Square.
Dozens of people living in the eastern Libyan city of al-Quba called for the downfall of all governments and political institutions due to low living standards.
Libya’s electricity sector has suffered from the effects of years of ongoing wars and political turmoil, which have halted investment and prevented maintenance work, in some cases damaging infrastructure.
The “National Unity” government formed last year promised to solve the problems, but despite awarding contracts to work on several power plants, none of them have started work, and political infighting has prevented any work from taking place.
The continuation of the political crisis threatens to worsen the situation, with the rejection of the Prime Minister of the National Unity Government, Abdel Hamid Tabaiba, and the appointment of a new government by parliament, Fathi Pashaka, as Prime Minister in the east. Resign from office.
As the gap between Parliament and the Council of State grew, Stephanie Williams, the UN Secretary-General’s adviser on Libya, announced that the Geneva meeting between the leaders of the two houses had failed due to some contentious points in the draft. The constitution was finalized by the Constituent Assembly in July 2017.
Despite the approval of the Constitutional Watch Committee at the Cairo meetings on all articles of the draft constitution, the Supreme Council of State refused to nominate dual nationals, again bringing up the controversy over presidential nominations. Division of sovereign positions between the three regions.
Nevertheless, the leadership of the Libyan House of Representatives revealed an expected meeting between House Speaker Aguila Saleh with Libyan Supreme Council of State Chairman Khaled al-Mashri after the Eid al-Adha holiday. The Swiss city of Geneva noted that the results of the last meeting “represented the free will of the Libyan people”. and fulfilled his wish to frame a constitution for the country and organize presidential and parliamentary elections.”
Observers believe that the widening gap between parliament and the State Council presidency confirms their inability to agree on articles of the draft constitution, which they agree are “constitutional clauses”. Ground.
In addition, the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament once again demanded that Ali Al-Hibri, the head of the Eastern Branch of the Central Bank of Libya, be recognized as the Bank’s Governor General.
Parliament Speaker Akhila Saleh issued a letter addressed to the government and government agencies, recalling the parliament’s appointment of Al-Habri as governor general of the bank. The letter was last Tuesday, but was published on Friday.
Last month, parliament approved a budget for Pashaka’s government, but Sadiq al-Kabeer, governor of Libya’s central bank in Tripoli, has shown no sign of disbursing the money while Dabaiba remains in his post in the capital.
Dabaiba has rejected moves by parliament to step down, while raising fears of a return to division and war between armed factions.

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Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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