Arab League Calls for Elections in Libya

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“Elections are the only way to renew the legitimacy of all Libyan institutions,” the Arab League’s Chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit stated on Monday.

He said the League “understands why Libyans are demonstrating in various cities, to express their rejection of the current situation. The aggravation of the political crisis, the lack of basic services, and the resurgence of divisions in the economic institutions are why the Libyans are demonstrating in the street.”

Aboul-Gheit expressed his concerns about the failure to reach a consensus on some outstanding issues in the draft constitution. He noted that the political blockage “may have dire consequences for the stability of Libya.”

He voiced his “complete rejection of the militia’s actions, or the sabotage and destruction of the public facilities of the Libyan state, as a means by some to express protest.”

He also called on all political actors to assume their responsibilities, and to end the political stalemate. “The elections have become an urgent popular demand, and it is the only way to renew the legitimacy of all state institutions and end the current political impasse,” he added.

Notably, protesters broke into the headquarters of the Libyan Parliament in Tobruk, on Friday evening. They set parts of it on fire, amid protests over months of failed efforts to set the divided country on a path toward elections.

Images posted online showed thick columns of smoke as the demonstrators burned tires outside, and torched cars. This occurred after one protester had smashed through the compound’s gate with a bulldozer, and others attacked the walls with construction tools, local media reported.

There have been rallies in other Libyan cities against the continuing power cuts, rising prices, and political deadlock. In the capital, Tripoli, where a rival administration holds sway, protesters called for elections. According to eyewitnesses, thousands joined a march to the Parliament building calling for the current political powers to be dissolved, and elections to be held.