TRIPOLI

Libya’s Central Commission of Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE) announced Saturday the start of voting to elect members of the Tripoli Municipal Council.

In a brief statement, the commission said that 20,435 male and 13,305 female voters are entitled to vote for the council members.

The voting will take place in 37 polling stations and will be attended by 243 observers from nine different local organizations. The statement did not mention names of the organizations.

Eight lists will contest in the elections with each list consisting of ten candidates of whom six are the main candidates and four serving as reserve candidates — in the event of the resignation or death of one of the main candidates.

The commission has previously supervised municipal council elections in Misrata, Al-Zawiya, Ghat, Trajan and Awbari.

Libya has 116 municipalities some of which are under the control of the internationally recognized government while others are in the areas controlled by warlord Khalifa Haftar.

On Friday, Libya’s rival political groups agreed to form an interim unity government after five days of talks in Switzerland.

Libya has been wracked by civil war since the deposition of ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Based in the capital Tripoli and currently led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the Government of National Accord was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement. However, efforts for a long-term political settlement have failed due to a military offensive by Haftar’s militias.

Al-Sarraj’s internationally recognized government has been battling Haftar’s forces since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

*Ibrahim Mukhtar contributed to this report from Ankara

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