Protesters set House of Representatives on fire in eastern Libya
Demonstrators demand elections be held as soon as possible
Protesters raided the House of Representatives on Friday in Tobruk in eastern Libya.
The Libyan-based February television channel said a group stormed the House and set it on fire. Videos showing smoke rising from parliament were shared by local media.
A group organized on social media under the Youth Revolution slogan had called for demonstrations and civil disobedience on July 1 in all cities. Demonstrators demand that legislative and executive bodies be abolished, a state of emergency declared and elections held as soon as possible.
Hundreds of young people gathered in Martyrs' Square in the nation’s capital of Tripoli and started the protest.
No results from talks in Egypt, Geneva
Negotiations of a joint committee consisting of Libya's High Council of State and members of the House, which were held under the leadership of the UN from June 11 - 19 in Cairo, did not yield progress.
With the participation of the UN special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, meetings in Geneva on June 28 - 30 with the presidents of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh and High Council of State, Khaled al-Mishri did not reach a consensus.
Williams announced Thursday that the sides could not reach an agreement and that Fathi Bashagha, who was elected prime minister by the House in Tobruk, threatened to enter Tripoli by force.
At the meetings of the UN-led Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in November 2020, presidential and parliamentary elections were decided to be held Dec. 24, 2021, but polls could not be held on the scheduled date.
The House, based in Tobruk, elected Bashagha as prime minister in a Feb. 10 session which most deputies in the west of the country did not attend on the grounds that the mandate of the Government of National Unity (GNU) had expired Dec. 24, 2021. The Bashagha government was granted a vote of confidence March 1.
Meanwhile, GNU Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh accused the House of deviating from the roadmap determined in the Geneva Agreement and said he was in charge and would hand power only to an elected government.
* Writing by Seda Sevencan
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