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Netherlands: Referendum to Be Held on Surveillance Law

(Nov. 17, 2017) On November 1, 2017, the Electoral Council (Kiesraad) of the Netherlands publicly announced that, based on the more than 384,000 valid signatures received requesting it, a referendum on the Act on Intelligence and Security Services will be held within six months. (Press Release, Referendum over Wiv gaat door [Referendum on Wiv Coming Along], Kiesraad […]

Uganda: Proposal to Amend Constitution, Eliminate Age Requirement for Presidential Candidates

(Oct. 30, 2017) The 445-member unicameral Parliament of Uganda is considering a bill aimed at amending the country’s Constitution in order to eliminate the age requirement applicable to candidates seeking to be elected to the country’s presidency.  (Uganda Introduces Bill to Remove Presidential Age Limit, AL JAZEERA (Sept. 29, 2017).)  The current Constitution of Uganda, […]

Kyrgyzstan: Court Denies Ballot Petition of Opposition Leader

(Sept. 12, 2017) On August 31, 2017, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan upheld a lower court’s rejection of a petition to list opposition leader Omurbek Tekebaev on the presidential election ballot this October. (Elizabeth Lowman, Kyrgyzstan Supreme Court Rejects Petition to Put Imprisoned Opposition Leader on Ballot, PAPER CHASE (Aug. 31, 2017).)  Although a petition […]

Mauritania: Senate Abolished in Referendum

(Aug. 22, 2017) On August 5, 2017, Mauritania held a referendum in which the country voted to change to its government structure, abolishing the Senate. (Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi, Mauritania Votes in Referendum to Abolish Senate, PAPER CHASE (Aug. 7, 2017).) Previously there was a bicameral legislature that consisted of the Senate (Majlis al-Shuyukh) and the National […]

Afghanistan: Date Set for Parliamentary and District Council Elections

(Aug. 4, 2017) The Afghanistan Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced that July 7, 2018, will be National Election Day and that on that day Afghans will elect their representatives to the House of Representatives (Wolesi Jirga, House of the People) of the National Assembly and to the country’s district councils. (Afghanistan Pa 2018 Kal […]

Egypt: Judicial Supervision of Electoral Process to Be Eliminated

(July 31, 2017) On July 4, 2017, the Egyptian Council of Representatives (the parliament) approved a law on eliminating the role of the judiciary in supervising future parliamentary and presidential elections. The new law assigns the National Electoral Commission as the sole agency in charge of monitoring future general elections and referenda.  Two-thirds of the […]

France: Government Submits Bills on Ethics and Transparency in Politics

(June 20, 2017) On June 14, 2017, the French government submitted two bills to the French Senate on reinforcing rules of ethics and transparency in the political sphere. (Projet de loi organique (procédure accélérée) rétablissant la confiance dans l’action publique [Bill for an Organic Law (Accelerated Procedure) to Re-Establish Confidence in Public Action], No. 580, […]

Azerbaijan: President Appointed His Wife as First Vice-President

(Mar. 24, 2017) On February 21, 2017, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, appointed his wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, as the First Vice-President of the Republic, in accordance with newly added article 1031 of Azerbaijan’s Constitution.  (Appointment by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan of M. A. Aliyeva as the First Vice-President of the Republic […]

Italy: Update on Legislative Electoral Reform (Italicum)

(Feb. 7, 2017) On January 25, 2017, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on the constitutionality of amendments to Italicum, the colloquial name given to the electoral reform introduced by Law No. 52 of 2015 on the election of members of the Chamber of Deputies. (Decisione sulla legge elettorale cd.Italicum, Corte Costituzionale website (Jan. […]

Gambia: State of Emergency Lifted

(Jan. 30, 2017) On January 24, 2017, Gambia’s legislature ended the state of emergency in the country and rescinded the extension of executive power that had been granted to former President Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh had lost an election in December 2016 to Adama Barrow, but for a time refused to leave office and hand over […]