November 24, 2020
Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in the greater Middle East and North Africa, usually posted on Tuesdays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.
El-Muizz Street, one of the oldest streets in Cairo. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Omar Attallah (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Egypt Parliamentary Elections: October-November 2020
Egypt held elections for both houses of parliament this year. They were widely considered a sham by the opposition, civil society, and the public. More
Ahram Online (November 23, 2020): Egypt wraps up first day of run-off parliamentary elections
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.
Courtney Freer, Brookings Institution (November 19, 2020): How politics at home shapes Kuwait’s foreign policy
The pandemic has sent the price of oil crashing to all-time lows and pushed Kuwait toward a reckoning with its longtime largesse, just as a parliamentary election approaches in Decemberhttps://t.co/XLfXpoLuTK
— Isabel DeBre (@IsabelDeBre) November 24, 2020
Algeria Early Legislative Elections: Possibly in 2020
Algerian authorities have proposed holding early legislative elections before the end of 2020, following a constitutional referendum that took place on November 1, 2020. This is all happening in the context of the Hirak protest movement, in which Algerians protested weekly throughout the country for over a year (stopping only due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Protesters called for, among other things, democratic elections in Algeria. More
Hillel Frisch, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (November 22, 2020): Algeria’s Referendum: Stirrings of Democracy and the Decline of Islamism
Bob Ghosh, Bloomberg (November 20, 2020): Algeria Blows Another Chance at Reform
Syria Presidential Election: April or May 2021
Syria is due to hold a presidential election between April 16 and May 16, 2021. The election comes in the context of Syria’s ongoing civil war, and will likely not be free, fair, or democratic.
Louay Rhebani, Enab Baladi (November 25, 2020): Is formation of Election Commission by opposition SNC an attempt to gain legitimacy or legitimize al-Assad regime?
Iran Presidential and Local Elections: June 18, 2021
Iran has scheduled its next presidential election for June 18, 2021, with concurrent local elections. More
#IRGC Commander Hossein Dehghan (longtime military advisor to #Iran Supreme Leader) announcing his bid for 2021 presidential race: “Era of political infightings has come to an end… We are entering a new era.” pic.twitter.com/gbmhF7MNNP
— Khosro Kalbasi (@KhosroKalbasi) November 24, 2020
Syed Zafar Mehdi, Andalou Agency (November 25, 2020): Iran’s top military figure announces presidential bid
This is probably the first time in nearly a decade that the photo of Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi (half of his face) has been published by an Iranian daily. Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard & reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi have been under house arrest since 2011. pic.twitter.com/j6EeBmAssc
— Golnaz Esfandiari (@GEsfandiari) November 21, 2020
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
Daily Sabah/AP (November 24, 2020): Parliamentarians from Libya’s three regions to meet in Morocco for talks
Al Jazeera (November 23, 2020): Libya rivals begin second round of talks on interim government
Patrick Wintour, The Guardian (November 21, 2020): Libya interior minister campaigns to lead country as fragile peace holds
Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly Elections: November 15, 2020
Gilgit-Baltistan, the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir, held elections for its legislative assembly on November 15, 2020. The elections took 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
Frud Bezhan, Gandhara (November 25, 2020): ‘Perfect Storm’ Could Compel Pakistan To Change Status Of Disputed Territory In Kashmir
The Economist (November 24, 2020): Flare-ups between India and Pakistan in Kashmir are getting fiercer
Jayant Sriram, The Hindu (November 24, 2020): Pakistan’s move in Gilgit-Baltistan and what it means for India | The Hindu In Focus podcast
Tom Hussain, South China Morning Post (November 19, 2020): Protests erupt near Pakistan’s China border over vote-rigging claims in Gilgit-Baltistan
— Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaViews) November 24, 2020
Jordan Parliamentary Elections: November 10, 2020
Kristen Kao and E.J. Karmel, Washington Post (November 20, 2020): The pandemic compromised Jordan’s parliamentary elections
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