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

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


Israel demolishes home of Palestinian charged with killing

Updated 34 min 10 sec ago
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Israel demolishes home of Palestinian charged with killing

HEBRON, West Bank: The Israeli military has demolished the family home of a Palestinian charged with the killing of a 19-year-old Israeli woman.
Israeli forces bulldozed two apartments belonging to the father of Arafat Erfayieh in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday.
Erfaiyeh was arrested and charged in February with the killing of Ori Ansbacher, whose slain body was found in a West Bank forest near Jerusalem.
Her brutal killing drew widespread media coverage in Israel, sparking calls for revenge from hard-line Jewish settlers. The Shin Bet security agency determined the act was politically motivated.
Israel often demolishes homes of alleged Palestinian assailants or their families, saying it deters future attacks. Human rights groups have long condemned such demolitions as a form of collective punishment banned by international law.