By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 30 January 2013:
Congress has rejected an amendment to the Local Government Law from Prime Minister Ali Zeidan that . . .[restrict]would have seen mayors of towns and cities as well as governors of regions appointed by the government rather than elected by the populace.
There was heated debate in Congress yesterday, Tuesday, on the subject, with members attacking the prime minister for attempting to change the two relevant clauses to Law Number 59/2012, known as the “decentralisation law”.
It was approved by the former National Transitional Council shortly before it demitted office but still has to be ratified by Congress.
Under Law 59/2012, both governors and mayors are to be directly elected by the public as in the various western democracies, notably the US. Local councils will also be directly elected but will not decide who is mayor of a city or town.
There was substantial support for keeping the two clauses unamended in the law. Only a handful of Congress members supported the government’s proposed changes.
Once the law is in effect, it is planned there will be elections for all municipal councils, including those that have already done so.
It may, however, yet transpire that the law will be superceded by proposals to from the Constitutional Commission. [/restrict]