By Saber Ayyub.
Tripoli, 19 August 2015:
The Municipality of Central Tripoli has sacked its mayor Mahdi Al Harati from his position yesterday . . .[restrict]and appointed Abdulrahaman Al-Ghalali as a temporary stand-in mayor for the Municipality.
Al Harati was appointed Mayor in June 2014.
The announcement was published formally this morning by the Municipality. The statement said the Municipality has taken the decision after obtaining the required quorum to withdraw confidence from Al-Harati. Six members had voted for sacking Al-Harati, while one member voted against the motion and one abstained.
The six members who voted to remove Al-Harati were: Abdulrauf Beitelmal, Taher Al-Krewi, Abdulrahman Ghalali, Mohamed Banon, Ibrahim Khalifi and Mohamed Abu Janah. Ibrahim Aribi voted against sacking Al-Harati while the one female member, Fatma Baghi, abstained.
Al Harati had been widely criticised by Tripoli residents because of his poor performance. ‘‘I think he has nothing to offer and is unable to prove that he deserves the position and only focuses on photographing himself”, Tripoli resident Mohamed Baden told the Libya Herald yesterday.
One major criticism against Al-Harati has been the failure by his Municipality to collect the city’s garbage off its streets in a timely manner and a regular basis. At times at the peak of summer rubbish has piled-up on roadsides causing a stench and health concerns.
Al-Harati had also attracted social media criticism for the perception of being out of Tripoli most of the time when the rest of the city was suffering power cuts, bread shortages, petrol queues and the like. He is not seen to have done himself any favours having been being photographed in Europe relaxing with friends in cafes.
It appears, however, that Al-Harati is not prepared to give up his position. Despite the vote, this morning he promptly returned to his office in Tripoli and posted photos on the Municipality’s Facebook page rubbishing his sacking and taking over the running of the municipality from his appointed deputy and only ally, Ibrahim Aribi.
It is believed that Al-Harati is still in control of the Municipality’s Facebook Page.
It is not clear what the next move is. Sources at the municipality have informed this publication that fellow council members are afraid of him.