By Maha Ellawati.
Benghazi, 4 June 2013:
Local supporters of federalism today took over the local council offices in Beida in protest at . . .[restrict]the council’s refusal to endorse the policy at its meeting. Staff were told to leave the building.
Demonstrators called for council members to be sacked, claiming they did not represent the people of Beida. They called for fresh local elections to take place.
Two days ago, supporters of federalism attended a mass rally near Marj on the occasion of the 64 anniversary of the proclamation of the independent Emirate of Cyrenaica at which Ahmed Zubair Al-Senussi declared self-government for the former province. Zubair, a cousin of the late King Idris and Qaddafi’s longest serving political prisoner, leads the Cyrenaica Transitional Council, set up by supporters of federalism over a year ago.
Beida lays claim to being the political heart of Cyrenaica. After the 1963 constitution was promulgated replacing the three-state federal system with a United Kingdom of Libya, government and parliament would still regularly move back and forth between Tripoli and Beida. It was the preferred residence of King Idris.
Meanwhile in Benghazi today, posters appeared calling on opponents of federalism to gather this Friday both there and in Tripoli to protest at Sunday’s Marj rally and self-government declaration.
With input from Aimen Eljali [/restrict]