Middle East This Week: February 23, 2021

February 23, 2021

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.

Algeria’s Hirak protesters demonstrate in the city of Blida in March 2019. This month marks the two-year anniversary of the protests. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Fethi Hamlati
(CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Middle East Elections

Israel Snap Parliamentary Elections (Take 4): March 23, 2021

On March 23, 2021, Israel will hold its fourth general election in two years after the collapse of the unity government of Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz. More

Barak Ravid, Axios (February 22, 2021): Netanyahu corruption hearings postponed until after Israel’s election

Jonathan Lis, Haaretz (February 21, 2021): Israel’s Small Parties May Decide Election, and Pressure on Them Is Mounting

Lebanon Parliamentary By-Elections: March 2021 (proposed)

Lebanon is due to hold by-elections for 10 parliamentary seats that are currently vacant due to resignations in the wake of last year’s Beirut port explosion or deaths. Meanwhile, the Lebanese Forces, a major Christian political party, has called for early general elections.

Bilal Saab, Lawfare (February 21, 2021): Hezbollah Amid Lebanese Collapse

Souad Lazkani, The961 (February 18, 2021): Lebanon Will Hold Parliamentary By-Elections By End Of March

Waseem Saifeddin, Andalou Agency (February 19, 2021): Lebanese Forces party leader calls on Aoun to resign

Palestinian Authority Legislative Elections: May 22, 2021 and Presidential Election: July 31, 2021

The Palestinian Authority has scheduled long overdue elections for the legislature and president for May 22 and July 31, respectively. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is currently in year 14 of a four-year term. Similarly, the last Legislative Council elections took place in 2006. More

i24NEWS/ILH (February 23, 2021): Report: Hamas will not nominate candidate for Palestinian presidential vote

Reuters (February 17, 2021): Palestinians report 93% voter registration for upcoming elections

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 humanitarian crisis. Elections under the regime of Bashar al-Assad are widely considered to be a sham.

Carl Yonker and Christopher Solomon, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (February 19, 2021): The Banality of Authoritarian Control: Syria’s Ba’ath Party Marches On

Libya 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. More

Daily Sabah/Andalou Agency (February 23, 2021): UN urges all sides in Libya to comply with cease-fire agreement

Abdulkader Assad, Libya Observer (February 22, 2021): North Tripoli Court approves the city’s municipal elections

Voice of America (February 21, 2021): Libya’s Interior Minister Survives Assassination Attempt

Daily Sabah (February 19, 2021): Libyan officials call on West to assist in ousting Russian forces

Saleh Sarrar and Samy Magdy, AP (February 17, 2021): Libyans mark 2011 uprising with eyes on interim government

Jeffrey Feltman, Federica Saini Fasanotti, Pavel Baev, Courtney Freer, and Ranj Alaaldin, Brookings Institution (February 17, 2021): Around the halls: Experts analyze the Libya conflict, 10 years on

Algeria Early Legislative Elections: Proposed

Algerian authorities have proposed holding early legislative elections 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

Amnesty International (February 22, 2021): Algeria: Repressive tactics used to target Hirak activists two years on

Aomar Ouali, AP (February 22, 2021): Thousands of Algerian activists mark second year of protest

François Picard, France24 (February 22, 2021): Revolution on hold? Algeria’s pro-democracy movement seeks second wind

Hamid Ould Ahmed, Reuters (February 19, 2021): Algeria dissolves lower house of parliament, calls early elections

Past Middle East Elections

Tunisia Presidential and Legislative Elections: September/October 2019

Tunisia began transitioning to democracy in 2011, amid the Arab Spring protests, and in 2019, held the third national elections since the fall of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The results indicated a rejection of the main political parties and post-Ben Ali political ideologies (Islamism and secular liberalism). However, some concerns lingered about the democratic process.

Yasmina Abouzzohour, European Council on Foreign Relations (February 23, 2021): Caught in transition: Tunisia’s protests and the threat of repression

Tarek Amara and Angus McDowall, Reuters (February 22, 2021): Tunisian power struggle risks street escalation

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content, and their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here.

Share This