Tunisia has recently taken the lead in favour of gender parity in the Arab world. Equality between men and women in politics became constitutionally guaranteed in January 2014 when the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) approved the state’s new charter. On 20 August Hafedh Caid el-Sebsi, the son of the Nidaa Tounes party’s founder Beji Caid el-Sebsi, announced he would resign as head of list for the Tunis 1 governorate in the upcoming elections in favour of a woman. Nevertheless, the party, which represents the country’s largest opposition bloc, has in total included only two women has head of its electoral lists for the October 26 legislative elections.
Two electoral coalitions have been formed on August 10th by secular political parties of Egypt. They gather eleven different parties in total, divided between the Wafd-led “Wafd Alliance” and the National Democratic Party-led “Egyptian Front”. The move came following the withdrawal of Amr Moussa, chairman of the constitutional committee that drafted Egypt’s new constitution last January, from the Alliance of the Egyptian Nation – a bloc of liberal and leftists political forces – he failed to reunite. The recent split comes at the same time as the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood party on August 9th. Both events underline the lack of unity between leftist political forces, as well as limited political freedom in the country.
The Cairo Appeals Court for Urgent Matters overturned on 14 July the ruling that banned the leaders of former President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) to participate in politics. They were then prevented from participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections which procedures will start by 18 July. The party had been dissolved by the Supreme Administrative Court after Hosni Mubarak, chairman of the party since 1981, was toppled in 2011.
Precies een maand na het Politiek Café over de Nederlandse bijdrage aan de missie in Mali organiseerde de FMS een bijeenkomst over de revoluties in de Arabische wereld: het Politiek Café “De Arabische Lente: drie jaar later”. Hoe gaat het nu met landen als Egypte, Tunesië Libië en Syrië waar drie jaar geleden de wereld volledig op zijn kop werd gezet? Wat voor paden hebben zij ieder bewandeld? En wat kunnen wij doen om het proces van democratisering te stimuleren? Een verslag van een bijzonder interessante avond.
Marking another step in the transition from the Gaddafi-regime, 1.5 million Libyans will go out and vote for a new 200-seat parliament today 25 June. Libya desperately needs a functioning government to bring the heavily armed former rebels, militias and tribes that helped oust former dictator Muammar Gaddafi under control and to secure the oil ports vital for Libya’s government and public budget. The new parliament, which will be called the House of Representatives, will replace the General National Congress as new legislative assembly.
On 3 June the Election Commission announced the results of the presidential elections: Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won 96.91% of the votes. On 26 and 27 May Egyptian voters could cast their ballots for the presidential elections. Because the turnout was low on the 26th, the government declared a national holiday on the 27th, which they hope leads to a higher turnout. In the end, 47% of the country’s 54 million people, voted. This percentage is lower than expected.
Armed forces stormed the Libyan parliament, the General National Congress (GNC) on 18 May, and demanded its suspension. Officials said the attackers killed two and wounded 55 people, while keeping at least 20 people hostage. The identity of the chaotic attackers was unclear, but loyalists of renegade general Khalifa Hafter claimed responsibility. By attacking the GNC, the gunmen directly challenged the legitimacy of the country’s central government which already struggles to gain authority over the country.
Last month WISE (World Information Service on Energy) published a report on uranium mining and its effects on the local population in Tanzania, Cameroon, and Mali. This week they have invited a delegation from these countries to present the report to various Dutch NGOs and politicians and to speak about the impact of uranium mining. Yesterday they visited the Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS). Some of the main conclusions: “We need to benefit from our own resources.” And, “Uranium mining must not pollute our environment.”
On 5 May the head of Libya's parliament has confirmed that businessman Ahmed Maiteeq will be the country's new prime minister. Ahmed Maiteeq is Libya's fifth prime minister to be appointed in the past two and a half years. Maiteeq tried hard to win over sceptics by stressing his business credentials and his non-party background.
A criminal court in the south of Egypt has sentenced 37 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death and recommended the death sentence for 682 others. Amongst the convicted is Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide, Mohamed Badie. Critics claim the mass sentencing is part of a crackdown on the movement that could trigger protests and political violence ahead of the presidential elections next month.