Benghazi local elections will take place on Tuesday, 19 May. The announcement was made on Sunday by Suleiman Zubi, head of the city’s election committee. To encourage people to go and vote the day is to be a local holiday.
Zubi said that 455 people had applied to run as candidates for the 41 seats in the 11 districts but that the number had been reduced to 414 following vetting by the committee. Names are here.
Altogether, 216,146 people had registered to vote, Zubi said.
The figure is seen as disappointing. In March, the electoral committee said they were hoping to register half a million voters. In the event, despite extending the registration deadline twice and a vigorous campaign to get people to register, less than a half of the target figure has been met.
Campaigning began as of today, Monday.
Last week, NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil asked local councils to delay their elections until after the national poll on 19 June. Although Benghazi has been flexible in its organisation of its contest, extending the registration period and delaying till now any announcement of the date, it has decide to go ahead with the vote sooner rather than later.
Tripoli has agreed to Jalil’s call, although in its case many see it as a convenient excuse to hide behind.