Lack of funding may prevent over half of Libya’s local elections

Libyan authorities allowed municipal elections in 2013. (Reuters)
Updated 05 February 2019
0

Lack of funding may prevent over half of Libya’s local elections

  • Holding elections to renew the municipal councils requires at least 50 million Libyan dinars ($36 million)

TRIPOLI: At least 69 municipal councils out of 120 in Libya may not hold elections in March due to a lack of funding by the UN-backed government, the head of the elections committee said.

Libyan authorities allowed municipal elections in 2013 in a bid to end a decades-long legacy of centralization of administration and help communities manage their local affairs.

But the degradation of security conditions after the toppling of long-ruling Muammar Qaddafi and irregular funding hindered the process.

Holding elections to renew the municipal councils requires at least 50 million Libyan dinars ($36 million), Salem Bentahia, head of the Central Committee for Municipal Councils Elections told Reuters in an interview. For now, the committee has only received 30 percent of that budget, he said.

Without government funds the committee is unable to launch awareness-raising programs on the importance of municipal elections, Bentahia said.

Officials at the internationally recognized government in Tripoli were not immediately available for comment.

Constituency registration has been reopened with more than 800,000 voters on the list including 504,136 women, according to official figures.


US to leave 200 troops in Syria for a period of time - White House

A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria. (US Army photo)
Updated 22 February 2019
0

US to leave 200 troops in Syria for a period of time - White House

  • The decision was announced after Trump spoke by phone to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan

WASHINGTON: The United States will leave “a small peacekeeping group” of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a US pullout, the White House said on Thursday.
President Donald Trump in December ordered a withdrawal of the 2,000 American troops in Syria on the defeat of the last remnants of the Islamic State militancy there.
But he has been under pressure from some advisers to adjust his policy to ensure the protection of Kurdish forces who supported the fight against Islamic State and who might now be threatened by Turkey.
“A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a brief statement.
The decision was announced after Trump spoke by phone to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
A White House statement said that the two leaders agreed, regarding Syria, to “continue coordinating on the creation of a potential safe zone.”
They noted that acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford would be hosting their Turkish counterparts in Washington this week for further talks, the White House said.