We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Sun 20 Apr 2014 09:01 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

High stakes as restive Benghazi votes in Libyan local polls

Libyan voters went to the polls to elect first municipal council members in 15 cities three years after civil war that toppled Muammar Gaddafi

High stakes as restive Benghazi votes in Libyan local polls

Libyan voters went to the polls on Saturday to elect municipal council members in 15 cities, including Benghazi, the country's second city, which is seeking greater autonomy for the eastern seaboard region.

With 41 more municipalities due to vote in the next three weeks, the elections pose an organisational and security challenge for a country that is still riven by factional fighting, nearly three years after the civil war that toppled veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Benghazi has until now had only an interim council with piecemeal funding from central government, but the election is meant to pave the way for fuller and more regular allocations, potentially improving the volatile city's relationship with Tripoli.

Results of the contest, where 74 candidates are vying for nine seats, are expected on Tuesday.

Militias in Libya have become increasingly powerful and violent. Earlier this month, the interim prime minister resigned after just a month in the position, saying gunmen had tried to attack his family.

In Libya's eastern cities, mainly Benghazi and Derna, around 200 people have been killed since early 2013, according to activists and local army officials.

Rebels remain in control of Libya's two largest oil terminals - Es Sider and Ras Lanuf -- with their fate depending on talks that include rebel demands for greater autonomy in the eastern region of Cyrenaica, of which Benghazi is the capital.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.