By Aimen Amzein and Jamal Adel.
Tripoli/Benghazi, 20 April 2014:
Polling took place yesterday in Benghazi and 15 other new municipal councils across the . . .[restrict]country: Al-Bouanis, Al-Ghrefa,Al-Qalaa, Ashaqiqa, Ashwerif, Bir Ashab, Brak Al-Shatti, Ghadames, Gurda Al-Shatti, Idra Al-Shatti, Jalu, Jardes Al-Abid, Nalut, Nazim and Wazin.
In Benghazi, 73 candidates including women and war- wounded were on the ballot paper. Turnout was reportedly low across the city although there were long queues at polling centres in some districts.
There were a few minor incidents with unregistered voters trying to cast ballots but on the whole elections went smoothly. Head of the Sub Committee for Benghazi’s Municipal Elections Idris Al-Ghab told the Libya Herald as voting was taking place that all of the city’s 128 polling centres had all opened on time at 8 am. He said turn-out was lower than expected but that there had been no security problems – his principal concern.
In Jalu, just 5,750 voters had registered to vote although organisers had hoped for as many as 12,000 when registration opened. Jalu resident Salim Aisikran who had worked closely with election staff, said turn-out was low but had picked up in the afternoon. He said security conditions were fine and results for the seven member council were expected tomorrow.
In the Amazigh town of Nalut in the Jebel Nafusa, where 4,925 voters had registered to vote, there were six polling centres. The indications are that local activist Adel Khalifa Asker won the most votes. Again initial results are expected tomorrow.
Forty-one municipalities are scheduled to hold elections over the next three weeks as the old local councils are replaced with new municipal ones.