Mauro Indelicato
In front of the Tobruck parliament building , the rubble is still smoking. On Friday , the assault by demonstrators against the building that since 2014 has housed what is considered the “Lower House” of Libyan institutions left a considerable mark.

Not only from a material point of view, since the damage was huge, but also from a political point of view. In the last few hours it has been made known that, during the checks following the assault, some important documents have not been found.

A significant factor: the parliament risks reopening without the possibility of having important papers and files to restart its administrative action. A practical and symbolic damage, capable of revealing the dramathe situation in Libya.

The assault on Friday

Probably no one expected such a degeneration. The “Friday of Anger” had indeed been announced, but not in the conditions then seen. And most importantly, not in such a way as to also cause an assault on parliament.

What happened in Tobruck took the local authorities by surprise and this can be seen in the unpreparedness of the city forces, close to those of General Haftar , unable to oppose the crowd that entered the parliamentary building.

Inside the facility, demonstrators set fires, devastated furniture and furnishings. Furthermore, their fury has also raged against some delicate offices, such as that of the President of the Chamber himself, Aguila Saleh .

Today, in fact, it has been made known that entire documents have been lost. Burned in the various fires triggered. Some were carried out and poured over the piles of tires set on fire around the perimeter of the building. 

It is difficult to say if the groups that triggered the protests really wanted some documents to disappear. Or if the burning of papers and files was due to the “simple” anger of the citizens who wanted to create as much disorder and chaos as possible to protest against the Libyan political class. The fact remains that, if on the one hand the electronic archive was saved, the paper one was not.

In a context where every parliamentary vote is delicate for the fate of Libya, no longer having part of the historical archive of the House of Representatives available could be very serious. 

The legitimacy and the “memory” of certain acts could fail, consequently those who have an interest in reducing the role of Tobruck’s parliament could now have an easier game in this sense. But if the situation in the east of the country has been even more chaotic since Friday, in the west the picture is no more reassuring. Demonstrations, clashes and protests were also recorded in Tripoli , as well as in Misrata and in several other cities of the country.

We try to run for cover

Friday’s surprise effect of anger may have already had some effects. First of all, that of accelerating internal political paths aimed at restoring a certain stability to Libya. After all, the protests came at the height of a very serious situation for millions of citizens. 

In many areas there is no electricity , in the big cities themselves sometimes essential services are guaranteed only 12 hours a day, the prices of bread and flour have also increased due to what is happening in Ukraine . 

An explosive mixture capable of reserving, in the case of an increasingly troubled context, new social explosions.

It is no coincidence that news of a presidential council meeting has come from Tripoli in the past few hours . The latter is one of the entities provided for by the 2015 Skhirat agreements , which in turn serve as a constitutional basis pending a true Libyan constitution, and is formed, after the 2020 reforms, by three members.

The council, headed by Al Menfi , representative of eastern Libya, has proposed a new plan capable of giving stability to Libya and bringing the country to elections as soon as possible . 

As written on the Facebook page of the presidential council, and as also reported by AgenziaNova, the objective would be to “preserve the unity of Libya, put an end to any conflicts and internal divisions, strengthen the existing peace, avoid chaos, limit forms of foreign interference and encourage a national solution”. 

A plan to be implemented through a confrontation with all the political parties and the various formations involved in the Libyan chessboard.

An ambitious project, but rather difficult to carry out. At least to date. In fact, it should be remembered that the current stalemate is caused above all by the existence, certainly not peaceful, of two distinct governments. 

One is recognized by the international community and is led by Abdul Hamid Ddeiba , while the other was elected by the Tobruck parliament in February and is headed by former Interior Minister Fathi Bashaga . 

Two executives who are facing each other not only on a political level and whose clash is causing delays in the decisions to be taken at a time when the economic crisis is biting hard on Libyan society.

A declaration of a state of emergency possible?

According to what emerged from recent meetings in Tripoli, the presidential council could declare a state of emergencyand thus dissolve both the Tobruck parliament and the council of state, that is the other “chamber” of the Libyan parliament provided for by the Skhirat agreements and elected back in 2012.

Thanks to the state of emergency there would be a “legal basis” for to be able to hold elections or to put in the saddle a new government of national unity, this time recognized by all. The state of emergency could also be declared either by the presidential council itself or by the superior council of the judiciary. 

Certainly, after the first Friday of anger and in view of next Friday, Tripoli now wants to try to give at least a political signal. In order to placate the spirits and thus hope to return to dialogue.

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