By Taziz Hasairi.
Zuwara, 27 April 2014:
The turnout in yesterday’s municipal elections in Zuwara is put at around 60 percent . . .[restrict]by to local polling officials.
Eight schools in the largely Amazigh town and three in nearby Abu Kamash were used as polling stations which opened at 8 am. For the five main council seats there were 30 candidates, all of them men, one of whom withdrew at the last minute. There were also five women vying for the woman’s seat and four for the wounded revolutionary seat.
Initial but unofficial results for the five general list seats indicate that the the winners are:
- Hafed Jumaa Ben Sassi
- Amro Hajji Hanish
- Isa Said Salim
- Basem Idris Dahan
- Ismael Ahmed Shalgam
Zitona Emhammed Moammer is said to have won the woman’s seat and Samir Yekhlif Algandouz the wounded revolutionary seat. Aged 30 years old, he was the youngest candidate in the contest.
Not only was Zitona Moammer the oldest women standing, it appears she is also the most popular. It is reported that she has won more votes than any other candidates standing, male or female.
The turnout is viewed outside the town as highly encouraging. Last week, the turnout in Benghazi was 50 percent, and that was on a disappointingly low number of residents who had registered to vote.
In Zuwara itself, however, there is some surprise that the elections took place at all or, at least so rapidly after the recent boycott of both local and national elections over the demands for greater Amazigh rights. It is only since the 20 February Constitutional Assembly elections that the Amazigh Supreme Council changed its mind on the electoral boycott and agreed to the municipal poll.
Thus, although according to Salim Almansouri, head of the local subcommittee of the Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections, 45 percent of potential voters had registered to vote, far more than in Benghazi or even Misrata, this is being seen within Zuwara as low and is attributed to continuing opposition to all elections, seen as an endorsement of the government and General National Congress.
A number of local resident said they continued to be opposed to any elections on the basis that they were an endorsement of the government and the General National Congress. [/restrict]