Libyan PM Agrees with Protesters: “Yes , I’m a Thief”

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Tens of hundreds of angry Libyan protesters in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and other towns, took to the streets on Friday to protest the deteriorating life conditions, corruption, and electricity crisis.

The protesters also closed the main roads and gates in several cities and regions and set fire on rubber tires, calling on the government in Tripoli to step down immediately as well as for the dissolution of all political bodies.

The oil-producing country, Libya, which overlooks nearly 2000km of the Mediterranean Sea, has been witnessing repeated crises since the killing of Moammar Gaaddafi.

That has made Libya an isolated country whose residents live in the scourge of wars due to the control of militias and the severe lack of services, especially electricity cuts during high temperatures in the summer.

There is a fear that intruders would sneak among the protesters for acts of sabotage, as the protesters appeared wearing yellowish vests. All of them are standing in queues, in front of them are armed groups fighters, and dozens of security vehicles encircle Maidan Shuhada from all the main streets.

The Libyan protesters, who were carrying pictures of United Nations (UN)-installed
Prime Minister, Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba, with a red across on his face, loudly chanted “Al-Dbaiba, you are a thief, where is the electricity?”

The Libyan protesters also denounced all officials in the country, calling for elections to take the country to a new stage.

At night, the protesters marched from the Maidan Shuhada to the government building in Tariq Siqqa, chanting more slogans against Al-Dbaiba “where is our money, you thief? where is the electricity, you corrupt.”

Ironically, Al-Dbaiba tweeted that he was agreeing the protesters, adding that he supports the protesters and that “all Libyan institutions should leave including the government.”

“Get out, Al-Dbaiba” the protesters shouted.

Al-Dbaiba’s tweet tells that he unconsciously admitted the financial corruption of which his government is accused.

Al-Dbaiba relied on spending in his government to gain popular support by increasing the salaries of various public sectors financed by the public treasury such as education, health and the Ministry of Interior.

However, what increased the street’s wrath against him was that the government did not fulfil his promises to increase salaries, but that the delay in paying them was up to seven months.

“I will solve the problem of electricity in six months,” that is what Dbaida promised when he was approved by the parliament in January 2020 ,but nothing has achieved since then.

According to Central Bank figures, Libya paid 16.4 billion Libyan dinars ( $3.41 billion ) from January to May this year.

Al-Dbaiba’s Government of National Unity (GNU) came out in January 2020 and was the result of talks in Geneva under the auspices of the UN mission.

It is noteworthy that reports revealed that bribes estimated at millions of dollars were paid to members of the dialogue tasked with voting on choosing the government to enable Al-Dbaiba to reach power.

A promise of a full administrative investigation into the matter was made by the UN Support Mission in Libya’s (UNSMIL) acting representative, Stephanie Williams, but no results have been revealed so far.

Leaked documents on the internet from local media platforms also revealed that millions of Libyan dinars were paid to armed militia leaders in the capital, Tripoli and Misrata, Al-Dbaiba’s hometown. This was done to buy loyalty in a proactive step to defend his position after the Parliament approved a new government headed by Fathi Bashagha.

The Parliament headquarter was stormed on Friday by angry protesters and had burned it down. The body was elected in 2014 and has been working since then until the former parliament was revived by the UN mission into a new body called the High State Council (HCS).

Analysts say that this step further complicates the scene in Libya due to the authority being given to the HCS to stumble the decisions of Parliament. This, although the mission knows that the two bodies are at constant disagreement and a consensual solution cannot be reached between them.

A number of municipal councils and state institutions in several cities posted pictures on Saturday morning showing their buildings covered by black smoke after they were stormed by the angry protesters.