The Lower House on Tuesday passed the elections draft law, completing legislation to modernize the political system, besides political parties and relevant constitutional amendments, towards a new system based on parties with platforms that are capable of reaching parliament and forming governments.
Under the new incremental system, political parties can raise their parliamentary seats from 30 per cent in the next Lower House, through to 50 per cent and up to 65 per cent during the next 10 years along a parallel path of economic and administrative reform in the pursuit of a Jordanian model in local governance.
The draft law redraws the electoral map into two districts: local and general, with a total of 138 seats, 97 of which are designated to local constituencies spread over 18 electoral precincts, and 41 seats for the general list that are allocated to parties and party alliances.
The bill gives each voter two votes within a mixed electoral system, which adopts the closed proportional system for party lists, and the open proportional system for local lists, and sets a threshold for lists to compete for the allocated seats in each district, winning 7 per cent of the local electorate and 2.5 per cent of the general district votes.
It also requires at least one woman to be among the first three candidates of the general (partisan) lists and a young male or female (30 years old and under) among the first five candidates, and also increases to 18 the number of seats designated for women at the level of the districts. It also retains 9 seats for Christians and 3 seats for Circassians and Chechens.
The draft law also reduces a candidate’s age to 25 years, and considers a voter’s place of residence when preparing lists, and adopts their IDs as the only document for voting. It does not require the resignation of a public sector employee running for a parliamentary seat, and also imposes penalties on electoral crimes and malpractices, including using political money, which could reach 2 years in prison.