Tripoli, 11 April 2103:
Sirte has a new council leader, its fourth in less than a year, following the resignation of Khalifa . . .[restrict]Al-Barq on Tuesday.
It is reported that Sirte’s steering committee and the heads of other committees of the council met yesterday, Wednesday, together with the four Congress members representing the Sirte area and chose Abdelfatah Mohamed Abdelfatah as the new council leader and Ali Aswad as his deputy.
The latter replaces Abdel-Hakim Mishri who also resigned on Tuesday.
Barq and Mishri resigned less than a month after they were appointed to the post by the Minister of Local Government, saying that they were unable to carry out their duties properly because the previous council leaders had refused to hand over documentation and information to them.
They were appointed following local protests demanding that Labaz be sacked.
In a statement explaining their decision to resign, Mishri said that he and Barq had felt compelled to quit because previous council leaders blocked anything happening. He also accused officials of stealing public funds and of preventing compensation to local residents. He specifically accused Mohamed Ali Kablan, the former head of Sirte’s Local Council, of corruption and withholding information and Labaz of refusing to leave office and blocking the distribution of compensation.
Another problem he claimed, had been that the chairman of the compensation committee refused to work despite being asked to continue in his post, as a result of which there were delays in compensation payments to local people.
He also accused a brigade that was supposed to provide security in Sirte of failing to do so and alleged that the Sirte Council of Elders was interfering in political decisions, was unrepresentative of all the tribes in the area and included former members of Qaddafi-era committees.
There was criticism too for the Local Government Ministry for not supporting them.