By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 25 February 2014:
Derna Local Council has said elections will not be held in the town tomorrow as no . . .[restrict]efforts have been made by authorities to secure polling centres.
A source close to Derna Local Council, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Libya Herald that no security forces had been sent to secure the town in readiness for voting and, therefore, he could not envisage a scenario where elections could take place. No efforts had been made by the town’s education authority to prepare schools as polling stations for tomorrow’s elections either, he added.
The usual channels of communication between the Local Council, the Government and the High National Election Committee (HNEC) had remained closed, he said, and no-one had been in contact to ascertain the security situation on the ground.
The people of Derna were very disappointed with the situation because most had eagerly anticipated being part of the democratic process, he said.
“The government has failed in everything in Derna. We need to feel safe in our town and safe in our homes,” the source said. He added that authorities had “brought this situation upon themselves”.
Bomb attacks on six polling stations in Derna the night before last week’s elections to the Constitutional Committee meant that voting could not take place. HNEC rescheduled elections for tomorrow in Derna and other towns that were not able to vote because of security issues or blockades that prevented ballot papers getting to polling stations in time for last week’s voting.
The source said the security vacuum in which the bomb attacks had occurred had persisted in recent days, with attacks on the town’s port and university.
Two nights ago criminals attacked Derna port with grenades, he said, apparently because of a disagreement with the Omar Mokhtar Brigade which protected the facility. Another group attacked Derna University, opening fire on its unarmed security guards, in an attempted robbery. No one was injured in either attack. [/restrict]