Libyan Prime Minister calls for no violence

Libyan PM appeals for no violence

Sat, 08 Feb 2014 01:23:20 GMT

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has appealed to Libyans to avoid violence in settling a standoff over their interim parliament.

Zeidan’s remarks came on Friday ahead of protests against a decision by Libya’s highest political authority to extend its interim mandate.

“I urge all citizens to be committed to peaceful means, all demands can be implemented peacefully and through dialogue,” said Zeidan in a statement, adding, “The government is at the command of the people. We will implement the people’s will no matter what it will be.”

This comes as there are growing fears that rival armed groups would engage in clashes amid a political turmoil that shows almost no sign of being resolved.

While the interim government’s mandate was due to end on Friday, the General National Congress (GNC) ratified a decision earlier in the week to extend its mandate to December 2014.

The decision came despite the opposition of a large portion of Libya’s population critical of its inability to halt Libya’s slide into lawlessness and chaos.

The protests were to be held later on Friday in the capital, Tripoli’s Martyrs Square and in the eastern city of Benghazi against the GNC’s decision, with demonstrators expected to demand new elections or for a presidential committee to replace parliament.

The GNC was elected in July 2012 after the ouster of late Muammar Kaddafi in February 2011. When first established, the GNC’s mission was to prepare for polling to form a commission tasked with drawing up a new constitution and organizing a general election.

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