By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 17 January 2015:
The current financial crisis threatens to bring to halt Libya’s one great success story so . . .[restrict]far since the revolution: the creation and election of municipal councils. The Libya Herald has been told by an official at the Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE) which has run 91 council elections over the past year that the remaining eight may have to be delayed because of a lack of funds.
The official said that LD 106 million had been budgeted and approved by the Ali Zeidan government for CCMCE’s work last year, but only half had ever been paid. Because the remaining LD 53 million was still outstanding, some 3,000 to 4,000 people out of the 30,000 who had helped organise and run the elections so far had still not been paid.
“There are cheques of between the LD 7 million LD 8 million waiting to sent out” but there were no funds to meet them, the official disclosed.
In the circumstances, the CCMCE felt it could not go ahead with the remaining municipal contests at present, he said. “We’re slowing down. There can be no more elections until there are funds.”
The organisation’s work did not stop once a municipality had had an election, the official explained. There were court appeals to handle, repeat elections to organise, replacement councillors to appoint as well as other issues to deal with. These were all threatened by the lack on money.
The CCMCE had discussed the problem with the Hassi ministers of Finance, Planning and Local Government in Tripoli but while these are said to be sympathetic, nothing had happened.
The eight remaining municipal councils to be elected include Bani Walid, Yefren, Al-Jmail, Ajilat and Aziziya.
Unlike the arguments over the legitimacy of the House of Representatives and the continuing GNC, no one questions the legitimacy of the new municipal councils – which are seen as also representing the democratic will of the Libyan people. [/restrict]