UN condemns protesters' storming of Libya's parliament

TEHRAN, Jul. 02 (MNA) – A senior UN official for Libya on Saturday condemned the storming of the parliament’s headquarters by offended demonstrators.

A senior UN official for Libya on Saturday condemned the storming of the parliament’s headquarters by angry demonstrators as part of protests in several cities against the political class and deteriorating economic conditions, the Associated Press reported.

Hundreds of protesters marched in the streets of the capital Tripoli and other Libyan cities on Friday, with many attacking and setting fire to government buildings, including the House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk.

“The people’s right to peacefully protest should be respected and protected but riots and acts of vandalism such as the storming of the House of Representatives headquarters late yesterday in Tobruk are totally unacceptable,” said Stephanie Williams, the UN special adviser on Libya, on Twitter.

Friday’s protests came a day after the leaders of the parliament and another legislative chamber based in Tripoli failed to reach an agreement on elections during UN-mediated talks in Geneva. The dispute now centers on the eligibility requirements for candidates, according to the UN.

Libya failed to hold elections in December following challenges including legal disputes, controversial presidential hopefuls and the presence of rogue militias and foreign fighters in the country.

The failure to hold the vote was a major below to international efforts to bring peace to the Mediterranean nation. It has opened a new chapter in its long-running political impasse, with two rival governments now claiming power after tentative steps toward unity in the past year.

The protesters, frustrated from years of chaos and division, have called for the removal of the current political class and elections to be held. They also rallied against dire economic conditions in the oil-rich nation, where prices have risen for fuel and bread and power outages are a regular occurrence.

KI/PR

News Code 188658

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