Middle East This Week: March 23, 2021

March 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.

The shores of the Dead Sea at Ein Bokek, Israel. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Tiia Monto (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Upcoming Middle East Elections

Israel (UPDATED March 25, 2021)

On March 23, 2021, Israel held its fourth general election in two years after the collapse of the unity government of Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz. Neither Netanyahu’s allies nor his opponents won a majority, so if anyone wants to form a government, they will need to get creative. More

Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz (March 25, 2021): Israel election results: How Netanyahu lost, and why he might still win

Steve Hendrix, Washington Post (March 25, 2021): Netanyahu has no clear path to remain prime minister, official Israeli election results show

Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post (March 24, 2021): Israel Elections: Sa’ar: I won’t sit in a Netanyahu led government

Patrick Kingsley and Adam Rasgon, New York Times (March 24, 2021): Israel’s election ended in another mess. Could an Arab party break the deadlock?

Josef Federman, AP (March 22, 2021): Israeli election seen as referendum on divisive Netanyahu

Raf Sanchez, NBC News (March 22, 2021): Israeli elections: Trump no longer the centerpiece of Netanyahu’s bid for power

Omar H. Rahman, The National Interest (March 22, 2021): How excluding Israel’s Palestinian citizens has led to election deadlock

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 (March 23, 2021): New poll shows Fatah, Hamas falling short of parliamentary majority in May election

The Media Line (March 23, 2021): Most Palestinians Believe Long-Awaited Elections Will Take Place

Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations (March 22, 2021): A New (or Old) Biden Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Osama Al-Sharif, Arab News (March 22, 2021): Uncertainty hangs over long-awaited Palestinian elections

Ismail Haniyeh, Andalou Agency (March 22, 2021): OPINION – Democracy is need of hour for Palestinian struggle

Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post (March 20, 2021): Candidates submit lists for PA parliamentary vote

Times of Israel (March 19, 2021): Shin Bet head asked Abbas to scrap Palestinian elections if Hamas runs — report

Iran Presidential and Local Elections: June 18, 2021

Iran has scheduled its next presidential election for June 18, 2021, with concurrent local elections. While Iran is far from a free country, and the elections are largely rigged, voters do have a degree of choice. More

Reuters (March 18, 2021): Election looming, Iran’s Rouhani says hardliners sabotage goal to lift sanctions

Algeria Snap Legislative Elections: June 12, 2021, followed by local elections

Algeria will hold snap elections on June 12, 2021, following more than two years of protests by the Hirak movement. However, the government’s election plan has not actually satisfied the protesters, who continue to take to the streets.

Al Jazeera (March 22, 2021): Algeria issues ‘terrorism’ warrants for exiled activists

AFP (March 19, 2021): Algerians demonstrate in their thousands to demand free press, judiciary

Kizzi Asala, AfricaNews and AFP (March 17, 2021): Algerian students reject the announcement of early elections

Committee for the Protection of Journalists (March 16, 2021): Algerian communications minister threatens to withdraw accreditation of France 24 over protest coverage

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

Abdulkader Assad, The Libya Observer (March 25, 2021): EU offers help to Libyan PM in elections preparation

Noha Elhennawy, AP (March 25, 2021): EU top diplomats in Libya to support interim authorities

Ephrem Kossaify, Arab News (March 24, 2021): UN Libya envoy: Broad support for holding December elections

Brian McQuinn, The Conversation (March 22, 2021): Ten years after the Arab Spring, Libya has another chance for peace

Afghanistan Parliamentary Elections: October 2023 and Presidential Election: September 2024 (due – early elections possible)

Afghanistan is due to hold its next presidential election in September 2024, but an early election is possible. Elections tend to be marred by violence, administrative problems, and lengthy delays. The current president, Ashraf Ghani, ultimately won re-election in a very tense vote and a tense four months in between the election and the final declaration of results. The election took place amid attacks by the Taliban, which had ordered Afghans not to vote.

Hamid Shalizi, Reuters (March 23, 2021): Exclusive: Afghan president, rejecting U.S. peace plan, to offer election in six months, officials say

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.

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