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Mohammed Al-Howeik was among thousands of Libyans attending the eighth anniversary of February 17 Revolution that removed former president Muammar Gaddafi at Martyrs Square in central Tripoli in the wee hours of Sunday.

“It is true that the revolution did not carry out its goals amid social rift, but our presence today is meant to show support to the peaceful transfer of power and stand against any attempt by politicians to further waste time,” said Al-Howeik, 39, along with his family members. Thousands of Libyans gathered in Martyrs Square and other big cities in commemoration of the anniversary of the revolution that removed Gaddafi’s regime in October 2011. They chanted slogans calling for an end to political split and maintenance of the principles of the revolution in national reconciliation among all Libyan tribes.


His wife, Khadija, believes they did not waste a chance to attend one of the previous February Revolution anniversaries as she was confident to achieve bright future for the Libyans, despite the pains. “The youths who joined the militias had no chance to leave them as no government gave them an option to join either the educational process or work opportunities that have a bright future ahead, but left them a prey to unemployment,” she added.

The political rift carries on in Libya since 2014 with two governments in the country: an interim Government of National Accord led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and the House of Representatives led by speaker Aguila Saleh Issa in Tobruk. According to a deal signed between the two sides, the political authority and the Libyan army should be unified and the militants need to be dissolved. Parliamentary and presidential elections would be held and a constitution needs to be approved. None of those objectives were achieved yet.

“We need elections this year and there is no place for any further postponement,” said Moftah Oheida, a university teacher. “Election of a new authority will put an end to the conflict between the different parties,” he added. The elections in Libya remain mysterious regardless of dates set earlier by the UN mission. The political sides have several views on the elections. Some believe a constitution should be approved first to bring about elections under strict conditions. Others believe a parliamentary and presidential elections should be held first and constitution should be delayed as they have differences over articles in the draft.


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