By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 8 June 2015:
The Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE) says it is suprised and puzzled at plans . . .[restrict]by the Thinni government in Beida to set up a rival authority to organise local elections.
“We saw it on Facebook but we’ve not seen any official decree from Abdullah Al-Thinni yet,” a CCMCE official told the Libya Herald.
“We don’t know why they are doing it at this time,” the official added, noting that the organisation had, like many state institutions, carried on its work over the past year, and had done so relatively successfully, despite the de facto existence of two competing administrations.
“We’ve worked hard in difficult conditions to organise almost all the municipal elections in the country. What did we do wrong to be replaced? What’s wrong with our work and results?” he asked.
“The municipal councils we’ve created are working and fine. They’re even recognised by the international community,” he added.
There were serious concerns, too, as to how a new committee would work. “What happens to our debts and the data and our materials?” the official wanted to know.
The CCMCE is seen as one of the great Libyan political success stories since the revolution – possibly the only serious and lasting success one so far. It has run elections and seen councils and mayors appointed in some 80 municipalities, some huge like Benghazi and Misrata, others very small in terms of population but spread over a large area – and done so with serious budget constraints. It has still only received half its allocated budget – and during the administration of Ali Zeidan who had wanted to appoint mayors sometimes faced government difficulties.
At the moment there are just seven municipalities awaiting elections, all of them in the west of the country – Darj (near Ghadames) Aziziya, Al-Jmail, Ajilat, Yefren and Bani Walid.
However, the Thinni government is reported to have decided to carve out eight new municipalities in the east of the country, and it may be for this that it has opted to set up a Beida-based body.
There is also a particular irony in doing so. The first municipal council elections organised by the CCMCE and then the election of Libya’s first mayor since the time of the monarchy, were in Beida, a year and a half ago.
No one has suggested that the results were anything other than very satisfactory. [/restrict]