New Egyptian electoral system–not yet

Egypt is supposed to try again at electing a parliament early in 2014. But, based on the following paragraph from a long article at Al Monitor about the non-regime, non-Brotherhood parties, it would appear that no one yet knows what the electoral system will be:

Despite the various meetings and discussions aiming at forming political alliances, the official announcement of these alliances will not come before the committee tasked with drafting the constitution specifies whether the electoral law will adopt an individual or list system.

These parties, working within a National Salvation Front, propose a “mixed” system, though clearly they do not mean mixed-member. Here is the (not so clear) description:

The NSF parties have proposed a new electoral law, other than the individual and list system, dubbed the “free popular choice.” According to the system, every list has its own code and every member on this list has a specific code. Voters can choose the list code if they wish to vote for all its members, one specific member code or many member codes. When voters choose the list code, every member will be granted an electoral vote. If voters choose a specific member code, the electoral vote will be granted to that chosen member specifically.

The counting process will be implemented over two phases. The first phase is dedicated to the lists as a whole; all votes given to the list are counted. During the second phase, the votes given to each member of the lists are counted.

It is not clear to me whether “member” here means a party within an alliance, or if it means candidates. It might mean an open or flexible list (with multiple preference votes allowed), but it is not clear. In any case, it is just a proposal. The passage quoted has a link, but the item is in Arabic.

Of course, the Brotherhood will boycott.

3 thoughts on “New Egyptian electoral system–not yet

  1. In its new constitution (translation *), Egypt drops bicameralism. I dare to say: that’s remarkable for such a big country!
    And it is one of the changes Al-Ahram newspaper does NOT highlight.

    On the parliamentary electoral system for the (only house of) parliament, all options are open : “Other requirements of nomination, the electoral system, and the division of electoral districts are defined by law, taking into account fair representation of population and governorates and equal representation of voters. The majoritarian system, proportional list, or a mixed system of any ratio may be used.” (art. 102.3) However, “workers and farmers” and “youth, Christians, persons with disability and expatriate Egyptians” are granted “appropriate representation” in the first HoR. (art. 243-244)

    Electoral laws require 2/3 approval (art. 121 in fine), but this could also work to entrench the existing electoral law. Who decides on the HoR electoral law until the first HoR is elected? I do not find any answer on interim legislative authority in the constitution (the ‘constitutional declarations’ of July 2013 are repealed in art. 246)

    Local councils are directly elected “provided that one quarter of the seats are allocated to youth under 35 years old, one quarter is allocated for women, workers and farmers are represented by no less than 50 percent of the total number of seats, and these percentages include a proper representation of Christians and people with disability.” (art. 180)

    *The document states it’s from IDEA but on idea.int I only find a ‘critical analysis‘, but not the translation posted on constitutionnet.org.

  2. What on earth are they doing in Eqypt? “According to Al-Wafd Party spokesperson Bahgat El-Hossamy, political forces want the parliamentary division to be as following: 40% closed-lists; 40% for proportional representation lists; and 20% for individuals. Nonetheless, Al-Heneidi stated the committee also rejected the idea on the grounds that it is unconstitutional to combine two different types of list in one election, according to state-owned Al-Ahram on Saturday.”

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