By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 26 May 2013:
The deputy chairman of Tripoli Local Council . . .[restrict](TLC), Hisham Krekshi has resigned in protest at critcism by the Prime Minister of the Council’s performance. He handed in his resignation to the chairman, Sadat Elbadri.
He is the second high ranking TLC official to resign in recent weeks. Adnan Gherwi , former head of the executive committee and second deputy to Elbadri, resigned when Council members refused to back him in a policy dispute with the Chairman.
Krekshi confirmed his resignation to the Libya Herald, saying that it was impossible to work for the city without an allocated budget. “We asked the government for LD 340 million; they ignored us. We then asked for LD 150; they still ignored us. Buildings fall down killing people and they continue to ignore us,” he said this evening.
“We tried our best to serve the people but you cannot do any work without any funds. People look up to us to solve their problems. They don’t see how our hands are tied by the government,” he continued. “Despite all the assurances, nothing happened so I handed in my resignation. I was forced by some friends to withdraw it back but I’m insisting that they accept my resignation.”
According to Elbadri, a decision on Krekshi’s resignation is expected to be made tonight after a meeting of all councillors. Elbadri told the Libya Herald that “we didn’t accept it till now. We have had few meetings with officials recently and there is a fair chance that our problems with the ministries might be resolved very soon. Anyhow, a decision on this will be made after tonight’s meeting.”
Getting Krekshi to reconsider may not be easy. “It’s a big weight off my shoulders”, a relaxed, smiling Krekshi said this evening.
In his resignation letter, Krekshi took issue with remarks by the Prime Minister about the collection of garbage and other duties of TLC. He said that there was no negligence on its part and it had been doing its best in the circumstances. “Without clear financial allocations it is impossible to do any type of work. Despite all the correspondence and meetings with the authorities especially the local government ministry, no funds were allocated.”
As such, the Prime Minister’s remarks were, merely “the straw that broke the camel’s back”, he said. The real problem was the persistent lack of government funding.
He said that the government should pay more attention to Tripoli because of its role as a capital and the presence of all the embassies and state institutions in the city.
Speaking this evening, he said that a particular problem was that the Council had been too weak in its dealings with the central authorities. “We need to be more aggressive,” he stated, suggesting that the government responded to threats and that the more aggressive approach by Benghazi had won it more funding.
The financial problems between the local council of different towns and cities and the Ministry of Local Government are not new and the councils have regularly complained of lack of funds from the Ministry. This largely results from the Local Administration Law as the duties of different governing bodies are anything but clear.
Officials are hoping these problems will be resolved once the new local administration law is completed and implemented.
The TLC is still run in an emergency manner with day to day tasks carried out by people who helped establish the body at a time when the city was still under control of the former regime.
There have been attempts to hold local elections in Tripoli but they failed in part because of the absence of any local administration law. Several independent committees were formed to draft the local electoral law and hold elections but none succeeded.
The current committee tasked to draft the local bodies’ electoral law and hold the elections across the country is headed by Otman Gajiji, former head of the Higher National Electoral Commission.
Krekshi was made the deputy of TLC even before the city was liberated during the revolution. He was part of the main resistance group and was one of those responsible for organising and managing the final uprising in Tripoli that resulted in its liberation. He had expressed several times his desire to quit and return to normal life once the new council was elected.
Meanwhile, another house has collapsed in the Bekhair district off Shara Omar Mukhtar, where earlier this month five people were killed when their building crashed to the ground. Fortunately no one was injured this time.
It is thought that this latest collapse was caused by the unlicensed demolition of the building next door and the ground being excavated for a taller building without consideration as to the damage it could do. [/restrict]