Highlights for September
▪ Continued lack of political agreement on the content of technical annexes to the electoral law, with Parliament suspending deliberations until 10 October.
▪ IHEC moves forward with preparations but continues to face significant challenges in the absence of a finalized electoral law, lack of clarity on the electoral budget, and continuing staffing gaps.
On 26 September, the Council of Representatives discussed the technical annexes to the electoral law but again failed to reach an agreement on electoral constituencies. While certain working parameters were approved, a definitive formula to delineate constituencies was not endorsed.
The Council of Representatives agreed to use the 2010 population statistics of the Ministry of Planning to determine the size of the Parliament. It also approved a uniform set of criteria to be applied to all governorates in the finalization of constituencies and agreed that all constituency delimitation should be completed for all governorates simultaneously. Parliamentarians voted to respect geographic conditions, diversity of components and women’s representation when distributing electoral constituencies.
As stated above, despite agreement on these principles, the precise formula to set constituency boundaries remains unresolved - with several proposals still on the table. These range from one constituency per seat (i.e. multiple constituencies in each governorate), to governorates divided into several 3-4 seat constituencies, and reverting to the previous formula under which each governorate is a single constituency.
The Council of Representatives has postponed the voting on electoral constituencies to 10 October.
UNAMI’s advisory note of 27 July highlighted the technical nature of the constituency delimitation exercise and proposed, in the interests of transparency and impartiality, input and involvement from institutions that have the capacity to generate, analyse and systematise such technical information.
UNAMI reiterates its suggestion of a technical working group to draft the annexes, composed of representatives from the Legal Committee of the Council of Representatives, the Ministries of Planning, Trade, Interior, and Displacement and Migration, the Independent High Electoral Commission, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers Secretariat. The UN could provide technical assistance and advice to this working group.