Middle East and North Africa

Articles about voting issues in the Middle East and North Africa.

Pakistan: I-voting drive draws tepid response from overseas Pakistanis | Dawn

The campaign to register overseas Pakistanis for internet-voting in the upcoming by-polls evoked a lukewarm response, with only 7,419 expatriates out of the total 632,000 registering to avail the facility offered to them for the first time in the country’s electoral history. The process of registration of overseas Pakistanis from the 37 constituencies where by-elections are to be held on Oct 14 had started on Sept 1 and came to a close on Monday at 9am. According to a statement released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the website for the overseas voters remained functional 24/7 throughout the registration process and did not face any technical problems. Read More

Pakistan: Overseas Pakistanis pay no heed to the call for I-Voting | Dunya News

A lack of interest of Pakistanis living aboard flagrantly evident as deadline for registration of Internet voting has been ended today. Out of above five hundred thousand Pakistanis residing overseas, only seven thousand and four hundred registered themselves for internet voting which is not an encouraging trend for the present PTI led government which worked hard to give the expats the right to vote. Five hundred and twenty thousand overseas Pakistanis showed an unexpected and strange attitude towards the lack of interest in the electoral and political system of Pakistan. Only seven thousand and four hundred Pakistanis living and settled in foreign countries – being registered to the internet voting for the by elections scheduled to be held in October 2018 – can take part in the voting process now. According to the election commission sources, two hundred thousand individuals have visited the internet voting website. Read More

Afghanistan: Protestors shut down election offices in Afghanistan ahead of vote delayed by three years | The Independent

Protesters demanding anti-fraud measures shut down the offices of Afghanistan’s election commission in three of the country’s major provinces on Saturday, just weeks before a vote for Parliament, The protest is the latest symptom of a political logjam that could turn violent amid a raging war with the Taliban. The last-minute jockeying over an election already delayed by three years suggests that after five elections over 17 years, costing about $1bn,  Afghanistan lacks a basic consensus on how an election should be held and a credible body to oversee it. Read More

Pakistan: I-voting gets lukewarm response | The Nation

As the deadline extended by the Election Commission of Pakistan for overseas Pakistanis to register as voters for I-voting in the upcoming by-election scheduled for October 14 expires today (Monday), only 6,319 expatriates have registered as voters in 37 constituencies. A day earlier, the ECP extended the deadline for registration of overseas Pakistanis till 9 am on Monday to register as many voters as possible. The commission had asked the overseas Pakistanis to take advantage of the extended time and ensure their registration so that they could vote in the upcoming by-election. Read More

Syria: First local elections since war begin | MEO

Syrians in government-controlled areas cast their ballots on Sunday in the first local elections there since 2011, when the country’s ill-fated uprising erupted against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule. Seven years since the last vote, the conflict has killed more than 360,000 people, forced millions more to flee, and left the economy in tatters. Now, Syrian troops are back in control of around two-thirds of the country after a string of victories, most recently around Damascus and in southern Syria. More than 6,550 voting centres opened at 7:00 am (0400 GMT) across government-held parts of the country, state media reported. Read More

Bahrain: Parliamentary elections to be held on Nov. 24 | Reuters

Bahrain said on Monday it would hold a parliamentary election on Nov. 24, the state news agency BNA reported, the second ballot since 2011 when mostly Shi’ite protesters took to the streets demanding more democracy. The 2018 elections come at a sensitive time for the Gulf state as the public finances have been hit hard by a slump in oil prices, with Bahrain’s dinar plunging to its lowest in more than decade. Read More

Iraq: Campaigning kicks off for Kurdistan Region parliament election | Rudaw

Campaigning kicked off just after midnight on Tuesday in the Kurdistan Region parliament election campaign slated for September 30. Over 700 candidates are vying for spots in the 111-seat chamber where 11 seats are reserved for Turkmen and Christian minorities and 30 percent must be filled by women. The campaign had a hesitant start, delayed by a week amid reports that some parties wanted to postpone the vote that is already taking place 11 months late. Some candidates delayed creating campaign materials, fearing the process may be put off again. European allies told Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani they are “happy” the election is going ahead as scheduled. Read More

Libya: Prime Minister says conditions for elections not yet ripe | Reuters

Conditions in Libya are too unstable to hold elections, Prime Minister Fayez Seraj was cited as saying on Wednesday, casting doubts on a French-led push for a vote in December which aims to end years of turmoil and unify the North African country. French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a conference in May where rival Libyan factions agreed to work with the United Nations for a national election by Dec. 10. Libya splintered following the 2011 NATO-backed revolt that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, and since 2014 has been divided between competing political and military groups based in Tripoli and the east. “You can not vote with instability in the streets … it is necessary that everyone accepts the result of the ballot. We need shared rules,” Seraj, who leads the U.N.-brokered transitional government based in Tripoli, said in an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera. Read More

Armenia: Armenia To Hold First Major Election Since Power Change | RFE/RL

Yerevan’s municipal election campaign formally kicked off on September 10, with 12 political parties and alliances taking part. The September 23 elections will be the first major election in Armenia since opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinian became prime minister after leading a wave of antigovernment protests in May. Voters in the Armenian capital will elect the 65 members of the Council of Elders under a proportional representation system. The council will later elect a new mayor of Yerevan. Under Armenian election law, any political party or bloc winning more than 40 percent of the votes will have the top candidate on its list automatically elected mayor. Read More

Pakistan: Overseas Pakistanis showing little interest in I-voting | The News

The overseas Pakistanis have so far shown little interest in getting themselves registered for first-ever I-voting in the upcoming by-election in 37 constituencies and so far just 6,000 have got themselves registered for their voting right. Sources in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said there are estimated 0.520 million expats, who could exercise their voting right with regard to these constituencies. But hitherto, just 3,000 qualified for this and were ready to vote in by-election. “These qualified persons will be using their respective passwords to take part in voting,” they explained. Read More