By Libya Herald reporter.
7 January 2014:
The small town of Abu Grain, some 100 kilometres south-east of Misrata, has become the subject . . .[restrict]of a prime ministerial battle of wills, small perhaps in the main Libyan political picture but important to those in the area.
Plans to hold elections for a municipal council there were due to take place on 6 December. They never did because Tripoli-based Omar Al-Hassi, appointed as prime minister by the continuing Congress, decided that it should be incorporated into Misrata municipality.
In Beida, however, Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni has now decided that the town should not be “annexed” (as one official put it) and that the municipal election must go ahead.
This is seen as unlikely in the current circumstances as Misrata has the ability to prevent any poll from occurring. However, the decision is thought to be popular in Abu Grain itself where residents were said last month to be opposed to being incorporated into Misrata.
If Abu Grain were to have its own municipal council, it would give Libya 100, of which 91 have already been elected.
Thinni, meanwhile, is reported to have decided on the creation of eight other municipal councils, six in the west and two in the east – all of them craved out of existing municipalities that have elected their councils over the past year. One such is Syed in west Janzur.
]All those in the west are reported to be anti-Libya Dawn.
No formal announcement, however, has been issued about the decision. [/restrict]