By Libya Herald staff.
Benghazi, 16 September 2014:
A row has broken out between the Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE) and . . .[restrict]the Minister of Local Government, Saleh Said, over the swearing-in of Ajdabiya’s new municipal councillors and the election of Salem Said Jadhran as its mayor. He is the brother of Ibrahim Jadhran who closed down the eastern oil terminals for a year.
The swearing-in and election took place yesterday in Beida, overseen by Said. However, only four of the seven elected councillors attended. The other three boycotted the proceedings, having already started legal action to have the elections re-run.
According to CCMCE sources, the swearing-in and election of the mayor should not have taken place because although final results of the municipal elections which took place at the beginning of May have been announced, there are ongoing legal challenges to them and, as a result, the list of the seven new councillors has not been yet been published.
The division between the councillors and the decision to go ahead with the swearing-in is thought to be linked to the national split between supporters of House of Representatives in Tobruk and those of Libya Dawn in Tripoli. The four councillors who turned up in Beida support the HoR; the three who are trying to have the May elections overturned are said to support Libya Dawn.
Further mirroring the national divide, the latter are reported to want to set up a rival Ajdabiya Municipal Council with a separate mayor, loyal to the Omar Al-Hassi “government” in Tripoli pending a court decision.
Ajdabiya itself is said to be split between the two sides, with the Zwai tribe supporting Libya Dawn and the rest of the town supporting the HoR.
Salem shot to national prominence a year ago September when it was disclosed that the then chairman of the General National Congress’ Energy Committee, Naji Mukhtar, had given him a number of cheques, including one for LD 2.5 million, in what was alleged to be an attempt to bribe his brother into ending the eastern oil terminals blockade. [/restrict]