Middle East This Week: November 10, 2020

November 10, 2020

Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in the greater Middle East and North Africa. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

Tabulating votes in Jordan’s 2016 elections. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Mohammad hajeer (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Middle East Elections

Jordan Parliamentary Elections: November 10, 2020

Jordan held parliamentary elections on November 10, 2020. Turnout was low, and both women and Islamist candidates saw poor results. More

Osama Al Sharif, Al-Monitor (November 12, 2020): Voter apathy, pandemic result in low turnout, riots in Jordanian election

AFP (November 12, 2020): Jordanian parliamentary elections see women, Islamists lose out

Nicole Robinson, Heritage Foundation (November 10, 2020): Jordanians Head to the Polls Amid Mounting Economic and Health Crisis

Al Jazeera (November 8, 2020): Jordan’s elections explained in 500 words

Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly Elections: November 15, 2020

Gilgit-Baltistan, the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir, holds elections for its legislative assembly on November 15, 2020. The elections are taking place in the context of the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, as well as increased Chinese presence due to Belt and Road. More

Sana Jamal, Gulf News (November 8, 2020): Political and religious parties step up efforts to win 2020 Gilgit-Baltistan elections

Sajjad Ahmad, Dawn (November 8, 2020): GB’s historic polls

Kuwait Parliamentary Elections: December 5, 2020

Kuwait is holding parliamentary elections on December 5, 2020. As could be expected, COVID-19 and the government’s response is shaping public debate ahead of the elections. Meanwhile, populism is on the rise, exacerbated by the pandemic and falling oil prices. As a result, questions of citizenship look likely to play a role in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

All of this is happening in the context of the September 29 death of the emir, Sheikh Sabah, who had been emir since 2006 and prior to that was foreign minister for 40 years. More

Yasmena Al Mulla, Arab News (November 5, 2020) Explainer: Everything you need to know about the 2020 Kuwaiti parliamentary elections

Libya Local Elections (ongoing in various places) and Parliamentary and Presidential Elections: December 24, 2021 (tentative)

Libya’s national elections are overdue and have been postponed indefinitely due to the political crisis and civil war. However, in November 2020, Libyan stakeholders participating in UN-sponsored talks proposed December 24, 2021 for presidential and parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, some local elections have been taking place in various cities. More

Al Jazeera (November 13, 2020): Libya talks set December 2021 date for elections

Reuters November 10, 2020): Prominent critic of Haftar’s abuses shot dead in Libya’s Benghazi

Iraq Early Parliamentary Elections: June 6, 2021 (tentative) and Provincial Elections (due)

Iraq’s government has proposed holding snap parliamentary elections on June 6, 2021, one year early, following the demands of protesters. However, parliament still has to pass a new electoral law and allocate a budget for the elections in order for them to actually happen. Therefore, the date remains tentative.

Iraq is also due to hold provincial (sometimes called governorate) elections this year, in which voters will elect provincial councils. Originally scheduled for December 2018, these elections have been delayed multiple times following controversial national elections in May 2018 (the first since the defeat of ISIS).

These elections are taking place in the context of widespread protest and political instability. More

AP (November 8, 2020): Iraq ratifies new election law, paving way for early vote

Khazan Jangiz, Rudaw (November 10, 2020): France donates 1 million EUR to Iraq elections project

Morocco Legislative and Local Elections: Summer/Fall 2021 (due)

Morocco is due to hold legislative, provincial, and local elections in fall and summer 2021. However, the three biggest political parties have called for a delay due to COVID-19. Local media are reporting that a source has indicated that all three sets of elections will take place on a single day in September 2021, but no date has been confirmed yet. The elections are taking place in the context of discontentment and disillusionment. More

Yahia Hatim, Morocco World News (November 9, 2020): Morocco’s 2021 General Elections to Take Place in September

Qatar Shura Council Elections: October 2021

Qatar has announced that it will hold its first-ever parliamentary elections in October 2021. More

Horizon Media (November 4, 2020): International Community welcomes Parliamentary elections in Qatar

Simeon Kerr, Financial Times (November 3, 2020): Qatar sets date for long-promised elections

Israel Parliamentary Elections: Due in 2023, but snap elections possible

Israel might be headed to its fourth general election in less than two years if the unity government of Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz collapses. More

Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post (November 10, 2020): Benny Gantz warns election to be initiated soon

i24 News (November 8, 2020): Gantz, Bennett hold talks on new Israeli elections: report

Past Middle East Elections

Egypt Parliamentary Elections: October-November 2020

Egypt held elections for both houses of parliament this year. More

Samy Magdy, AP (November 7, 2020): Egyptians vote in 2nd stage of parliamentary election

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