Libya’s eastern-based government resigned on Sunday amid rising protests in a number of cities over widespread corruption and worsening living conditions that include lengthy power cuts and a severe banking crisis, reported CGTN Africa.
Abdullah Al-Thani, the head of the government, submitted its resignation to the speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, in an urgent meeting held on Sunday in which they discussed the demands of the protesters, according to a statement issued by the House of Representatives.
Notably, Al-Thani’s eastern-based government is not internationally recognized, unlike the Tripoli-based UN-backed Government of National Accord.
Abdullah Belhaiq, spokesman of the Libyan Parliament, clarified that the interim government’s decision came in an emergency meeting, which Saleh called to discuss the conditions of deteriorating services and living conditions, especially the continuous power cuts.
Amid escalating violence, Libya remains politically divided between eastern and western governments, both competing for dominance. Eastern Libya and much of the south is controlled by Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA).
LNA’s 14-month offensive to take control of the capital, Tripoli, from the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) crumbled in June, weakening Haftar. The conflict has already claimed thousands of lives.
Protesters even set fire to the eastern-based government’s headquarters in the Libyan city of Benghazi, as demonstration continued in the east of the country on Sunday.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters also gathered in Tripoli to decry poor living conditions and demand political reforms in Libya. The demonstrators gathered outside the headquarters of the Presidential Council with placards calling for long-delayed elections to be held.
The protests also erupted in al-Bayda, in Sabha in the south, and for the first time in al-Marj, a stronghold of eastern-based renegade military commander Haftar, on late Saturday, witnesses said.
The eastern administration has warned protesters to not to exceed their right to demonstrate and express themselves.