By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 5 May:
According to Tripoli Local Council (TLC) sources, it has been decided that Tripoli’s local elections will now take . . .[restrict]place after the general election on 19 June. The date of July 1st is being suggested by different NGOs and civil society entities, but it is not decided yet.
The Electoral High Committee (EHC) responsible for the Tripoli elections has also been reshuffled following strong criticism by the civil society bodies. A new structure has agreed and approved by TLC after a number of meetings. Five members were retained from the old committee, five ones are be nominated by civil society entities and one member will be nominated by the Ministry of Local Government. The new 11-member committee will work under the same chairman, Salah Adden Tabagh.
A local election on 1 July would mean that Tripoli voters would have to be registered during the general election campaign. That could cause problems. NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil yesterday asked all local council planning election in the immediate future to delay them so that everyone could concentrate of the national vote.
Alternatively, should a TLC poll be decided for 1 July, Tripoli could use the local list of those who are currently registering for the general election.
It is reported that EHC is to meet with the chairman of the TLC, Abdul Razzaq Abu Hajar, to fully brief him about the decision to postpone the elections. Tabbagh, chairman of the EHC, declined to comment on the new date of the elections, saying, “the priority is to have the general elections and we do not want to distract the attention of the public from it. It will not be possible to have the local elections for the TLC before the general elections for the General National Conference (the constituent assemby).”
The head of the executive committee of the TLC, Adnan Gherwi, said he was “really disappointed” about the decision as he wanted to hand over the duties of the TLC to the newly elected members as soon as possible. He added that the delay had been caused by the reshuffling of the electoral high committee because the civil society and “some NGOs” were unhappy with its structure.
The EHC faced different problems from the beginning and it soon became apparent that it was highly unlikely it could keep the deadline of 5 May for the TLC elections. Libya Herald reported on different occasions that a delay was inevitable because of the committee’s failure to initiate the different phases of the election procedure as initially planned, not least registration of voters.
Umar Khan can be found at twitter.com/umarnkhan