The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) has published an excellent primer on Tunisia’s upcoming elections. It is succinct, well-written, and will bring you up to speed on all of the most important players, issues, and questions in about twenty minutes. I highly recommend checking it out (download the PDF here).
Speaking of elections, Lebanon’s Interior Minister Marwan Charbel unveiled a new electoral draft law a couple of days ago. It contains several positive elements, such as a 30% gender quota, pre-printed ballots, and an open-list proportional representation system, but disappoints in other ways — several small districts, no independent supervisory commission.
The big debate over the law will focus on the question of how many electoral districts to include. Unless the districts are large, proportional representation will not generate the major benefit that its advocates ascribe to it, namely a diverse representation of political parties. For some background reading on the subject of electoral districting in Lebanon, here is another excellent primer, this one by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (whose work we have highlighted on many occasions).