By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 19 September:
The Electoral Commission set up by Tripoli Local Council to oversee the local election in the capital . . .[restrict]has announced that they will be held on Sunday, 18 November. Voter registration starts this coming Saturday, 22 September.
In a move that is expected to disenfranchise many thousand Tripoli residents, only those who are registered in their Family Book as living in Tripoli will be able to vote. Those registered elsewhere but living in Tripoli, no matter for how long, will be unable to take part.
Based on existing data, the commission expects some 400,000 eligible voters to register.
It anticipates that registering them, as well as candidates and running the elections will cost LD 24 million. So far, it says it has been allocated “just LD 860,000” for the process.
Running the elections in Misrata in February cost LD 450,000. Just over a hundred thousand people registered to vote. The Benghazi local elections in May were run on a budget of LD 600,000 but of this LD 160,000 was returned to Benghazi local council afterwards as was equipment worth LD 80,000. In both elections volunteers were used extensively.
The system devised for Tripoli is complex.
The capital and the surrounding area are divided into 13 local municipalities. Each will have its own local council. There will also be a Tripoli Council for the city and wider area, with as many as 71 councillors.
When voters go to the polls on 18 November, they will be given two voting papers, one to elect a representative to sit on their municipal council, and one to choose a councillor for the larger Tripoli body.
According to Mustafa Abugreen, the administrative manager at the commission, the choice of 71 councillors for Tripoli Council has not been finalised as yet, but will be in the next few days.
The municipal councils will be divided into districts, the number depending on the size of the population. There will be one councillor elected per district.
The district councils are:
- Garabulli (6 districts)
- Tajoura (8 districts)
- Hay Al-Andalous (14 districts)
- Ain Zara (14 districts)
- Abu Sleem (19 districts)
- Suq Al-Juma (18 districts)
- Tripoli City (13 districts)
- Janzur (9 districts)
- Swani Ben Adem (6 districts)
- Qasr Ben Ghashir (6 districts)
- Esbea (5 districts)
- Sidi Essayeh (5 districts)
- Suq Khamis (4 districts)
Each district council will elect its own mayor at its first meeting.
Asked why the Tripoli electoral commission had not adopted the electoral register drawn up for national elections, Abugreen said that non-Tripoli residents were on the national list and that boundaries were slightly different.
Existing members of Tripoli local council or sub-councils can stand, providing they resign in the next few days.
Voter registration will end on 6 October, although, “we can add another week if needed” Abugreen told the Libya Herald. The preliminary voter register will be published on 13 October. There will then be two days for complaints or corrections. The final list will be produced on 30 October.
Registration for candidates starts on 25 September and lasts until 4 October. Names will be examined by the Intergity Commission between 4 October and 17 October. The preliminary list of candidates will be published on 18 October, followed by two days in which objections and complaints, either by the public or rejected candidates, can be made. A committee will then assess the complaints and a final list will be published on 1 November when campaigning can start. It ends on 16 November.
Requests by local and international groups wishing to have observers must be submitted by 21 September. The names of candidates’ agents have to be submitted between 1-7 November.
Counting will start the same day as the election and finish on 25 November when preliminary results will be announced. Challenges and complaints will be heard during the next two days. The final results are expected on 7 December. [/restrict]