The national political crisis may dominate the news but, away from Tripoli and Benghazi and one or two other hotspots, local democracy continues to thrive in Libya. Yesterday, new municipal councils were sworn in and mayors elected for Khoms, Nisma, Zuwara and Baten Al Jebel (Jebel Nafusa). It brings to 64 the number of mayors and working municipal councils now throughout the country.
Juma Ben Sasi was elected as mayor of Zuwara, Mohamed Ali Abu Al Rahmaan as mayor of Nisma, Khalifa Mohamed Khalifa mayor of Baten Al Jebel and Bashir Mohamed Hanash mayor of Khoms.
The swearing in ceremonies took place at the Crystal Hall in Suq Al-Juma, with the oaths of office administered by the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Mohamed Al-Haji.
The minister, Salah Said, is now based in Beida along with other cabinet ministers.
However, he was in the south today to administer oaths to the new municipal councillors in Murzuk, Shargia and Qatrun, and oversee the election of mayors for the three places.
Altogether, there have now been elections for 80 municipal councils, almost three quarters of all those designated under Libya’s new local government map. Another 14 are now at stage of registering voters and candidates.
Those that are up and running have found themselves increasingly forced to deal with the current crises in Tripoli and Benghazi even though there are no political problems in their own areas. “Municipalities are doing an excellent job addressing humanitarian issues and logistical issues to ease the suffering of the displaced people,” Otman Gajiji, head of the Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections told the Libya Herald today.