26 March 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Egypt election: polls open amid concerns over voter apathy
by The Guardian, 26 Mar 2018

Egyptians are going to the polls on Monday in an election that is almost certain to result in victory for the president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, after all credible opponents after all credible opponents were prevented from getting on the ballot.

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Future of Tunisian Truth and Dignity Commission in doubt
by MEMO, 26 Mar 2018

Confusion hovers over the future of the Tunisian Truth and Dignity Commission. The relates to the question as to whether its work should be extended or not after its first term ended with little impact. Primarily the dispute revolves around the commission’s release of an explanatory statement and archival and historical documents which was critical of Tunisia’s relations with France, and appeared to claim that Tunisia remained dependent on France to some extent.

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Erdogan: Military campaigns expanded in Syria and Iraq
by The New Arab, 26 Mar 2018

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Sunday that the Syrian-Kurdish held town of Tel Rifaat will "shortly" be under Turkish control, as part of the ongoing Olive Branch military operation to eradicate the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia from northern Syria.

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Tunisia’s leader calls for electoral reform, acknowledges reasons for disappointment with government performance
by the Arab Weekly, 25 Mar 2018

TUNIS - Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi called for a revision of the country’s electoral law but refrained from suggesting an expected constitutional reform to shore up presidential powers.Caid Essebsi said a small team of experts would study the possibility of amending the elections law and report on its conclusions. Any change of the law would be applied to parliamentary and presidential elections in 2019, not the municipal vote scheduled for May 6. Electoral regulations are considered among the main causes of political instability in Tunisia since 2011. The current electoral system makes it difficult for large parties to dominate the vote.

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