Ajdabiya, March 31: After more than three weeks of paralysis at Ajdabiya local council because of disputes as to who should . . .[restrict]serve, the council issued a decision on Thursday approving new members.
They were selected in a compromise by a Transparency Commission headed by Sheikh Al Shareef Alsharif. The new council now has a total of 22 members, representing all districts in the town plus two further members representing adjoining Sultan and Zueitina.
The announcement appears to derail plans to hold elections. The new council remains unelected.
At the beginning of March. the leader of Ajdabiya council announced that elections would take place “within 45 days”.
The trouble started last December when protesters demanded the dismissal of all members of the council. It was agreed to appoint an elected Transparency Commission which was entrusted to choose new councillors.
However, the head of the old council and its members refused to hand over power to new members and demanded that elections be held. This was agreed and the 45-day time limit announced. However, the council was then attacked by a number of protesters which led to intervention of local security forces. They decided to close the council building to protect it until such a time when the Transparency Commission approved new members.
The new president of the local council, Saad Khalifa, has said that council members have started their work.
It is unclear whether the new council regards its work as temporary and whether there will be elections in April. At the beginning of March it was said that a commission to oversee the vote, draw up district boundaries and decide how many councilors there would be per district was to be set up and members appointed.
This does not appear to have happened, which makes it highly unlikely that elections will take place in the immediate future.