By Seraj Essul.
Tripoli, 25 June 2014:
Ten polling stations in Kufra out of the town’s 15 did not open today because protestors . . .[restrict]blocked the delivery of election material to them, according to an HNEC official in the town.
Unlike the General National Congress elections two years ago and those for the Constitutional Assembly in February, it was not the Tebu community who were the cause of the trouble this time; they boycotted both those elections.
On the contrary, despite predictions of the Tebu shunning today’s poll, they turned out to vote, urged on by community leaders. “There was strong participation in Gadarfai and Shura [Tebu districts of Kufra] and in Rebyana [the Tebu town west of Kufra],” said Mohamed Seeda of the National Tebu Assembly.
The protestors are said to have been members of the town’s majority Zwai tribe, the Tebus’ adversaries. “They had demands,” the HNEC official said but would not state what they were other than adding that they wanted the poll delayed for a week.
This is now likely to happen. HNEC had already said that it would try to re-run elections within a week in places where they did not happen today.
There are suggestions that the protestors were supporters of a particular candidate who feared that he would not win.
Meanwhile in Sebha, where last night there was a reported mortar attack on the HNEC office, security concerns meant that three polling centres were unable to open this morning for the elections. Twenty-seven opened and operated normally throughout the day, according to Faraj Dheirij from the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) in the town, but three in the area of recent clashes between the Awlad Suleiman and Qaddadfa tribes did not.
One of these, Dheirij explained, later managed to open after members of the Misrata-based Third Force which has been in charge of security in the town since late January, arrived to protect it.
HNEC staff were also able to transfer voter lists, ballot papers and other election material from one of the other two centres to one of those already operating. In the end only once centre did not function, said Dheirij. [/restrict]