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Power cuts touch a nerve and lead to call for politically neutral public demonstrations

High summer temperatures and widespread power cuts varying from 10 to 16 hours over the last week have led to calls for non-aligned public demonstrations next Friday 1 July. Activists have asked the public to cease being apathetic and call for their rights.

They said they plan demonstrations calling for:

1) The speeding up of presidential and parliamentary elections

2) Authorizing the Presidential Council to dissolve all current political bodies and declare a state of emergency

3) Solving the electricity crisis, and clarifying the facts behind it for the public

4) Cancellation of the decision to withdraw fuel subsidies, and to amend the size and price of a loaf of bread.

A general groundswell of discontent
The summer heat leading to increased power cuts, the (post Ukraine war) general increase of cost of living, including bread prices and the threat of the withdrawal of fuel subsidies, and the failure of Libya’s political progress or elections to be held – has led to a general groundswell of discontent.

A call for the dissolution of all current political entities
A group of wise men, elderly and dignitaries has called upon the Presidency Council, for example, to dissolve all current political entities if the House of Representatives (HoR) and High State Council (HSC) fail to agree upon the constitution and elections in their UN-brokered Geneva meeting on 28-29 June.

The man operating his child’s breathing machine via a generator on the street
The general discontent was also galvanised by the social media post of a Benghazi man holding his child in his arms on the pavement while plugging his child’s breathing machine into the neighbour’s generator.

The post has gone viral in Libya and has touched a nerve. Gajoum’s cartoon goes further just to emphasise the unsaid point. It has the father sitting on a barrel of oil and not on the pavement. Libya, after all, is supposed to be an oil-rich state. Yet it cannot provide the most basics of a modern society. This, while for the last 11 years its political elite have conspired to prevent it from progressing for their narrow self interests.

It has led to calls for change and renewed attacks on the country’s ‘‘corrupt’’ political elite.

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