By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 23 May:
Salah Adden Tabagh, the chairman of the Electoral . . .[restrict]High Committee (EHC) for the Tripoli Local Council elections has resigned. He did so after submitting a report on the actions of the committee and what he said was the lack of cooperation from government institutions with the TLC. He sent copies of the report to the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Local Government.
Coinciding with his resignation, the head of the Tripoli Local Council today issued a resolution No. 59 to dissolve the EHC. It said that the matter should be solved by the local government ministry in cooperation with civil society organisations.
The deputy chairman of the TLC, Hisham Krekshi, said he was unaware of the report submitted by the EHC.
The EHC was formed on 14 March, 2012, and tasked with holding elections for the TLC before 10 May. It faced legitimacy issues from the first day after a civil society group objected to its structure. After several meetings, a new structure with 11 members was agreed but elections were then delayed because of the general elections for the National Congress.
Salah said that his committee received no assistance from the authorities and that they did not receive any of the assured and promised help by the TLC or the government. He said: “We sent several letters to the prime minister’s office, media organisations, Auditor General’s office, to the department of the statistical data and few others over a period of two months — but none of them replied.”
He also said that the questions from the civil society were understandable and they agreed from the very first day that civil society organisations should have representation on the EHC. Salah also said that the calls by a certain group of civil society organisations “pretending to be the whole civil society” were not serious and thus delayed the whole process of elections.
Salah said that the committee never received any of the promised funds and all the work done in the two months was managed by the EHC members in a personal capacity. Salah said “without receiving any help and assistance from the authorities we managed to complete 90 per cent of the work. We agreed on the type of elections, constituencies, voting centres and the structure of the new council. We also arranged for the ballot boxes, papers and ink by coordinating with the IDEA organization. Only if we had managed to register the voters, we would have achieved all the tasks of the EHC.”
Speaking about the various issues the EHC faced he said that “it seems like the people are not interested in having the elections here. Civil society was stuck on one point without serious steps to solve the issue. People were not cooperating in any way. We asked the sub-councils to submit lists of people from the area; the EHC will make sub-committees to help organise the elections. We received only one response, from the sub-council of Garabulli.”
When asked about the role of TLC Salah said “They did not interfere in my work, not even once, but they did not help either. They did not provide us with any of the promised support. For example, they were supposed to give us an office but that did not happen till 27 April and we declined then. I don’t know if the lack of support was intentional or not but I think they are just not capable enough to handle such a big issue.”
Umar Khan can be found at twitter.com/umarnkhan [/restrict]