Protesters stormed and set fire to the Libyan parliament building in the eastern city of Tobruk on Friday. Report that local media and international news agencies† Demonstrations also took place in other cities, including the capital Tripoli. The demonstrators expressed their dissatisfaction with the political deadlock and deteriorating living conditions in the country. Libya suffers from sky-high inflation and many parts have to do without electricity for hours every day.
“We want the lights to go back on,” the protesters chanted according to news channel Al Jazeera for parliament. A demonstrator-driven bulldozer smashed part of the parliament facade, while papers and car tires were set on fire, AFP news agency said.
Two governments have been battling for power in Libya since March: one in Tripoli, led by UN-backed Abdel Hamid Mohammed Dbeibeh, and another led by Fathi Bashaga, backed by the Tobruk Parliament and General Khalifa Haftar, who part of southern and eastern Libya. Elections were scheduled for December last year but never took place due to disagreements over the legal basis for a ballot. Earlier this week UN-led negotiations also failed in Geneva on a new constitution for the country.
Dbeibeh said in an initial response that he supports the protesters, that Bashaga’s government must resign and he called for elections. “The parties that prevent elections are known to the Libyans,” he wrote on Twitter† Bashaga, in turn, called on “the illegal occupiers of the government headquarters in Tripoli” to leave the capital.
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