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Municipal elections in Sabratha and Sorman postponed, go ahead in Sebha

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

The municipal elections due to be held today, Saturday, in Sabratha and Sorman were postponed at the last minute by the organizing authority because of security concerns. According to the Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE), they were also postponed for the same reason in the Jebel Nafusa municipality of Al-Haraba.

No new date has been set.

However, they did take place in Sebha which, ironically, was the one place they were thought would be canceled. Turnout there, however, was low despite a decision to keep the polling stations open for another hour.

Re-run elections also took place in three districts of Garada al-Shatti municipality where the elections had been held on 20 April.

The interim government in Beida, which had indicated last month that it would not recognize elections organized by the CCMCE because it works with the Presidency Council’s Government of National Accord, was reported to have told military forces in Sebha not to secure its polling stations. In the event, however, the ballot went ahead and the military commander, Maj.-Gen. Marbouk al-Ghazawi, later praised the military, saying that by restoring security in the city, they had enabled elections to take place smoothly and peacefully.

In a statement to Almarsad on Saturday evening, he said that the LNA was ready to secure elections in any municipality or future national elections as had been the case during the day in Sebha as well as in those other places in the south that had municipal elections during April.

He stressed that the army did not interfere in the elections. Its task, he said, had been to remain outside the polling stations and ensure citizens could exercise their right to vote, to stop terrorists attacking them and to secure the local headquarters of those organizing the polls.

He added that the fact that the army had helped secure the polling stations proved the lie that it was opposed to democracy and wanted a military dictatorship.

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