By Saber Ayyub.
Tripoli, 13 May 2015:
Demonstrators turned out in significant numbers in Misrata this afternoon to support the municipal council in . . .[restrict]its opposition to moves by the continuing General National Congress to impose an Elders’ Council on the city.
The Congress announced on 5 May that it was appointing a Council of Elders for Misrata with 172 members.
Municipalities in the west and south of Libya which have supported Libya Dawn and the Congress have expressed strong opposition to Regulation 37/2o15, under which Congress and the government have taken to themselves the right to appoint local Shoura Councils of Elders and the Wise.
At a meeting in Sabratha last month, councils described the law as undemocratic and called for it to be repealed.
In Misrata today, protesters claimed that the formation of any parallel body to their elected council was an attempt to suppress their rights and take authority away from the council.
Under Law 59 setting up municipal councils in Libya, the local Shoura Council of Elders and the Wise is supposed to be appointed by the mayor.
There were also loud voices among the demonstrtors calling for links between Misrata and the Muslim Brotherhood to be cut. “We have to seek for peace with all Libyan brothers”, one Misrata resident told the Libya Herald. “I have a friend who was imprisoned in Zintan and just get back home three days ago and he is saying very good words about his treatment by the Zintanis.”
The numbers turning out today in favour of the municipal council were far larger than the 50 or so who took part in what was effectively an anti-municipal council demonstration on Sunday. It was reportedly organised by the Brotherhood.
Congress has also appointed Councils of Elders for Sorman, Rahibat and Shagiga and is said to be planning to appoint others soon. [/restrict]