By Libya Herald staff.
29 November 2014:
Residents in Kabaw in the Jebel Nafusa and the oasis town of Jakharra near Jalu went . . .[restrict]to the polls today to elect their new municipal councils. In each case these will consist of five general members, a woman member and a revolution-wounded member.
There should also have been elections today in Tarhouna and Bani Walid, however both have been postponed.
The former has been deferred because of safety concerns. There was civil unrest during campaigning and, in the circumstances, the Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE) felt it prudent to defer the poll.
In the case of the Bani Walid vote, it is reported that Omar Al-Hassi himself intervened. A CCMCE official told the Libya Herald that the head of the Tripoli-based administration appointed by Congress said it should be postponed after a group of revolutionaries from the town went to see him and demanded it be given to them to run because they had liberated it during the revolution.
The source says the CCMCE is deeply unhappy with the situation and wants the poll to go ahead. However, it is believed to fear that, as with the HoR elections, the men with guns will simply take the situation into their own hands after the vote.
There are claims too of political interference in another upcoming election. Hassi’s local minister is said to have asked for the contest in Abu Grain, 100 kilometres south of Misrata, to be suspended. Its area extends to near Sirte. The minister said that the people of Abu Grain itself wanted to be part of Misrata. However, the CCMCE source said that enquiries showed that this was not true and that the small town’s residents did not want to be taken over by their neighbour.
Earlier in the week in Misrata, the nine-member Municipal Council appointed a shoura (advisory) Council to advise it. Under Law 59, every council must name a shoura council with half the number of members of the Muncipal council itself – in Misrata’s case, five. The role of the Shoura council is to study projects from civil society organisations and help fast track those proposals it considers to worthwhile.
Meanwhile yesterday, the new council of Rigdaleen was sworn into office and Abdallah Belhaj (no relation to Abdul Hakim) elected mayor. He was the only candidate. [/restrict]