Egypt: The Effects of Egypt’s Election Law | The Middle East Channel

Egyptians have finally begun to learn the rules that will govern their first post-revolutionary parliamentary elections, scheduled to begin on November 28. The election law announced by the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) is remarkably complicated, generating great confusion both inside and outside of Egypt. Those poorly understood rules will play an important role in shaping the results — and are already pushing the Egyptian party scene into a polarized competition between Islamist and secular blocs, with independents somewhere in the middle with no clear political or economic agenda.

The electoral system that the SCAF has chosen for the forthcoming election is a departure from Egypt’s historical practice. Egyptian elections have typically been governed by a majoritarian system in smaller constituencies (222 in total). Such a system traditionally made voting a choice between individual candidates rather than parties’ programs, which put a premium on coming from a strong local tribe or from a wealthy background. The small size of constituencies made this possible because it increased the electoral weight of extended families and tribes, especially in rural constituencies.

Egypt: A guide to Egypt’s first post-revolution elections | IRIN Middle East

Millions of Egyptians will head to the polls on 28 November in the first parliamentary vote after a popular uprising ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. The elections end decades of what was effectively one-party rule and will establish a parliament to lead the drafting of a new constitution within a year. If approved in a subsequent referendum, this constitution will shape Egypt’s future.

But few Egyptians understand the complex election system or know what the parties represent. “The election system is really confusing,” Saed Abdel Hafez, chairman of the local NGO, Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue, told IRIN. “Because people do not understand the system, they will most likely vote for the people or the powers they used to vote for in the past. This means that the next parliament will not reflect the new political realities created by the revolution.”

Egypt: Parties want Mubarak allies barred from vote | Reuters

Political parties have called on Egypt’s military rulers to ensure that figures associated with the government of ousted President Hosni Mubarak cannot run in parliamentary elections expected this year.

The military council that took over from Mubarak after street protests forced him to stand down in February has said it will hold a parliamentary vote this year, although a statement earlier this week announcing plans for voter registration did not mention any dates.

“The members of the coalition insist on changes to the parliamentary elections law and a law that would prevent the return of remnants of the former regime,” a coalition of 17 groups, including the leading Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group, said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Jordan: Opposition blasts new draft election law | Arab News

Jordan’s opposition parties on Tuesday rejected the newly proposed election law for what they said its failure to adopt fully the principle of proportional representation.

The new draft election law was proposed this week by the National Dialogue Committee (NDC) to spearhead political reform that has been sought by four months of protests that were inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

“We have followed up with deep concern and disappointment the new draft election law which has been worked out by the NDC,” the Coordination Committee of the Opposition Parties said in a statement.

New Zealand: Electoral Commission begins $5m education campaign in New Zealand | 3 News

The Electoral Commission has begun a six month campaign to prepare voters for the second big question they’ll be asked at the general election in November. For 15 years we’ve been used to just two ticks, but this election there’ll be two more – whether the voter wants to keep MMP and if not, which voting system they’d prefer.

Voters will be asked whether they want to keep the current system or switch to one of four alternatives, which means voters should understand how five different voting systems work.