Middle East and North Africa

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

Iran: High Kurdish turnout in Iran elections despite opposition boycot | Rudaw

Over 58 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballots in the four predominately Kurdish provinces in Iran, despite Kurdish opposition groups’ joint call to boycott the votes in the run up to the polls in April, preliminary statistics from the election committees show. Iran held simultaneous elections for the post of the president and legislative seats in city councils across the country on Friday.  Kermanshah province, a mainly Kurdish region with large Persian speaking populations had over 75 percent turnout, well above national average of around 73 percent. Read More

Iran: Hassan Rouhani wins Iranian election by a landslide following near-record turnout | The Washington Post

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was reelected to a second term by a landslide, the interior minister declared Saturday, presenting him a resounding endorsement of his plans to end Iran’s pariah status and rejoin the global economy. With 57 percent of the vote, Rouhani defeated his hard-line rival, Ebrahim Raisi, who had the backing of the ruling clergy and allied security forces. He also won a clear mandate to push through domestic reforms and pursue talks with the West, building on the nuclear deal he negotiated with world powers. That agreement, which Rouhani and his cabinet clinched during his first term, constrains Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for international sanctions relief. Read More

Lebanon: Election law deadlock threatens another crisis | The National

Last October, Lebanese politicians finally elected a new president to end a two-and-a-half-year power vacuum that had crippled the functioning of the government. But just over six months later, Lebanon is drifting into yet another political crisis that could leave the country without a functioning parliament. The parliament’s term expires on June 20, and it is extremely unlikely that an election will be held before then. The members of parliament were elected in 2009 for a four-year term but have extended their mandate twice, citing instability caused by the Syrian civil war and later the country’s lack of a president. Read More

Iran: Tinder-like app could sway presidential vote | Fox News

Iranians will be able to learn more about their presidential candidates with a simple swipe of their phone. A California-based NGO has helped to create a Tinder-like app for the Iranian smartphone market to provide unfettered information about the candidates ahead of Friday’s national elections. Creators and supporters of the app say it will help Iranian voters make informed choices away from the regime’s propaganda machine that controls the flow of information in Iran. Read More

Pakistan: Next general elections under new electoral reforms, says Ishaq Dar | Daily Pakistan

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that the upcoming general elections in 2018 will be held according to the new electoral reforms. Speaking after a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms in Islamabad on Tuesday, the federal minister said that contentious points will be further deliberated in the sub-committee on electoral reforms meeting to be held tomorrow (May 17th). He hoped that the sub-committee headed by Law Minister Zahid Hamid on draft Elections Bill, 2017 will submit its report before the next budget. Read More

Iran: Are elections in Iran an exercise in futility? | Al Jazeera

Once again a major election is approaching in Iran – a presidential election at yet another crucial turning point in the history of the beleaguered theocracy ruling over a restless and ambitious nation, trying by hook or by crook to curtail a rich and powerful political culture far beyond its limited imagination. Once again, nagging questions are paramount among Iranians in and out of their homeland: Are such elections an exercise in futility? Will they make any difference? Do they have any tangible result in the life of the nation?  Read More

Lebanon: Negotiations over Electoral Law at a ‘Crossroads’ | Asharq al-Awsat

Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri described a meeting that was held Sunday night as a “crossroads” towards reaching an electoral law based on the proportional system, away from sectarian and confessional considerations. Berri, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Lebanese Forces MP Georges Adwan met on Sunday to discuss a proportional electoral law and specifically the distribution of electoral districts. In a telephone conference during a gathering of Amal Movement’s cadres in Europe, which was held in the German capital, Berri said: “A very important meeting will be held this evening and perhaps it could be a crossroads that leads us to a solution and an electoral law based on proportional representation, women’s rights and the right of expats to vote, a law that shuns sectarianism and puts this country on the track of the future.” Read More

Iran: Leader Vows ‘Slap in the Face’ for Election Disruptions | The New York Times

Iran’s highest leader said on Wednesday that any disrupters of national elections, which are less than two weeks away, would receive a “slap in the face,” underscoring the political tensions lurking behind the vote. The warning came in a widely publicized speech by the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to graduating cadets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the powerful paramilitary force, in which he emphasized that security was the most important issue in the May 19 election, when Iranians will choose a new president and city and village councils. Ever since unprecedented antigovernment protests after the disputed 2009 presidential vote, elections have become delicate moments in Iran. Read More

Iran: Electronic Voting Machines to Be Installed in 145 Cities across Iran | Tasnim News Agency

Electronic voting machines are planned to be installed in 145 cities tomorrow as Iran prepares to hold the 5th City and Village Councils elections concurrent with the upcoming presidential vote, an official said on Monday. Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Qassem Mirzaee Nekou, an ICT official at the central board responsible for monitoring the 5th City and Village Councils elections said all the necessary measures have been taken to provide the required facilities, including hardware and software, to hold the polls electronically. Read More

Algeria: Voters disillusioned ahead of Algeria poll | AFP

In Sidi Mhamed, a drab satellite town southwest of Algiers, residents are struggling to make ends meet, stay safe and secure a better future for their children. Few have any hope that Thursday’s legislative election will improve their lives. The sense of disillusionment with the political process is palpable. A few party billboards and some scraps of graffiti on apartment block walls are the only reminder that a nationwide election is just days away. Read More