Middle East This Week: March 2, 2021

March 2, 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.

The port of Akko, Israel, one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world. Israel heads to the polls this month for the fourth time in two years. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Oren Rozen (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Middle East Elections

Pakistan Senate Elections (Indirect): March 3, 2021

Pakistan holds indirect Senate elections on March 3. Prime Minister Imran Khan hopes his allies will gain a majority in the upper house, which they currently do not have. If the electors – members of parliament and of provincial legislative assemblies – vote along party lines, he’ll get his majority, but because the vote is secret, it’s not a sure thing.

Reuters (March 3, 2021): Pakistan Senate Election Kicks off as Ruling Party Looks for Majority

Trey Marks, Foreign Brief (March 3, 2021): Pakistan to hold senate 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

Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post (March 1, 2021): Israel Elections: Poll finds small parties could decide race

Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post (February 26, 2021): Israel Elections: Amid calls to drop out, Gantz faces his moment of truth

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.

Bassem Mroue, AP (March 2, 2021): Protests in Lebanon as local currency hits record low

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

Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post (March 1, 2021): Palestinian Election: Coronavirus, Fatah strife may delay, cancel vote

Ahmad Melhem, Al-Monitor (February 28, 2021): Despite international support, obstacles threaten Palestinian elections

Adnan Abu Amer, Al-Monitor (February 27, 2021): Hamas holds internal elections ahead of Palestinian general elections

La Croix International (February 25, 2021): Christians assured of seven seats in new Palestinian Legislative Council

Omar H. Rahman, Brookings Institution (February 24, 2021): Elections in Palestine: Prelude or ploy?

Iran Presidential and Local Elections: June 18, 2021

Iran has scheduled its next presidential election for June 18, 2021, with concurrent local elections. More

Murat Sofuoglu, TRT (March 2, 2021): Iran’s political fault lines blur as Biden extends sanctions

Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations (February 27, 2021): Biden Fires a Warning Shot at Iran

Dominic Dudley, Forbes (February 24, 2021): Iran’s Next President Is Almost Certain To Be A Hardliner, Making Biden’s Outreach To Tehran Tougher

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

Patrick Wintour, The Guardian (March 2, 2021): Libya’s interim PM elected through bribery, UN inquiry says

Al Jazeera (February 27, 2021): Libya parliament to discuss new unity gov’t lineup on March 8

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

DW (March 3, 2021): Algeria: Protests resurge despite COVID restrictions

Latefa Guemar and Jessica Northey, openDemocracy (March 1, 2021): Hirak anniversary: Political prisoners freed as Algerians continue to protest

Turkey General Elections: By June 25, 2023 (snap elections possible)

Although Turkey is not due for general elections until 2023, there have been rumors of possible snap elections.

Orhan Coskun and Birsen Altayli, Reuters (March 2, 2021): With poll support dropping, Erdogan’s party looks to change Turkish relection law: officials

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.

Tarek Amara, Reuters (February 27, 2021): Tunisia’s main party holds huge rally as government row grows

AFP (February 24, 2021): Tunisia ex-presidential candidate released on bail

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