Libyans Protest as PM Cheers Crowd at Mass Wedding

Libyans Protest as PM Cheers Crowd at Mass Wedding (News Central TV)

Thousands of Libyans gathered at Tripoli square late on Friday for a state-funded mass wedding ceremony that also drew supporters of transitional Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah and demonstrators against the eastern-based parliament.

A UN-backed process brought Dbeibah to power in March to head a unity government after years of division between rival administrations in the civil war, and to prepare for an election.

Although the election is scheduled for December 24, there is a controversy over parliament’s handling of a law for the vote to take place and analysts fear the jockeying among rival factions could upset the peace process.

Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah

Dbeibah has supported popular opinion with initiatives like financial support for mass weddings or newlyweds but has faced resentment from the parliament, which was elected nationally in 2014 but moved east as the country split between warring factions.

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The parliament has not passed his budget and this week its speaker, Aguila Saleh, passed a vote of no confidence against the government.  Some members of the chamber , however said he had falsified the vote count.

Speaker, Libya House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh

Saleh had earlier passed a law for a presidential election that his critics said was tailored to allow him to run without risking his existing role by stepping aside for three months before the vote.

Parliament has not passed a law for a parliamentary election. Many who attended the Tripoli wedding celebration on Friday were there to protest against the parliament and back Dbeibah.

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