By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 8 November 2016:
The Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE) says it has started preparatory work in order to hold elections for a municipal council in Bani Walid and Central Zawia. They are two of just six municipalities out of the 100 set up by the Zeidan government where for various reasons the CCMCE has been unable to hold elections. The others are Derna, Aziziya, Al-Jmail and Ajilat.
It is not quite plain sailing, however, for polling in either.
The last municipality to have elections was the western town of Yefren in late 2015. Since then the CCMCE has been without central government funding to undertake any more and had to cut back on staff. However, the Presidency Council recently agreed to provide the finance for the remaining contests, although a CCMCE official has pointed out that so far nothing has arrived. There are also problems with the voter registration system, the official says: it is not working.
That is unlikely to deter the CCMCE. It managed to carry out 94 municipal elections, often without adequate funding and sometimes in the face of central government reticence bordering on sullen opposition.
The municipal elections’ map, though, has been somewhat complicated by the fact that since the Zeidan government, both the former Libya Dawn “government” in Tripoli and the Thinni one in Beida have carved more municipalities from exiting ones, although none has seen fresh elections.
But the biggest set-back at the moment has been caused by the military establishment in the east led by Khalifa Hafter unilaterally removing 12 elected mayors and replacing them with its own appointees. It is known to want to replace more.
So far, no date has been announced for the Bani Walid and Central Zawia polls. Last week’s clashes in the latter and concerns about security there may, however, result in them being put on the back burner for the time being.
Meanwhile, the Presidency Council is looking at the idea of administrations for governorates across Libya.
That, though, is a separate story.