By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 2 March 2017:
Beida-based interim prime minister Abdullah Al-Thinni is looking to change the way in which the local government system operates. He has set up a committee to draft changes to the 2012 law that established the country’s democratically-elected municipal councils.
So far there has been no statement as to exactly what is wanted by Thinni and the political/military establishment around him. However, the past half year has seen the military authorities led by Khalifa Hafter replace a number of elected councils and mayors with its own appointees. The appointments, always made by Major General Abdul Razzaq Nazhuri in his capacity as military governor of the area between Ben Jawad and Derna, have consistently been backed by the Thinni administration despite being contrary to the 2012 law.
It is believed that Thinni and the military hierarchy may want to change the rules so that the government can legally remove elected councils and mayors and appoint ones they want.
However, any change to the 2012 law is unlikely to be approved. It would require a quorate session of the House of Representatives, which is unlikely in the present circumstances. Even if one were to occur, it is thought that most members would oppose any change. Most are opposed to the Thinni administration.
They are also unlikely to take any action that could result in them losing local support.