Authors: Daniel L. Tavana
March 2012
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
This paper is a Policy Analysis Exercise by a student at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. This research was supported, in part, by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. On February 13, 2011, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced its intent to lead a pluralistic, consensus-driven democratic transition following the popular revolution that ousted President Mubarak. By summer, the SCAF called for elections and decided on a mixed-parallel electoral system, much to the dissatisfaction of Egyptian political parties. While the elections were free and fair, the results did not conform to the SCAF’s goal of creating a consensus-driven, pluralistic Assembly. Despite these complications, in March 2012, the SCAF convened a joint session of Parliament for the purpose of convening a Constituent Assembly focused on the drafting of a constitution. Given these developments, as members of the Constituent Assembly meet, they will begin discussing the future of the electoral system. The attached report develops a set of evaluative criteria to measure electoral system performance against the SCAF’s stated goals of consensus and pluralism; measures these criteria against the 2011-2012 People’s Assembly elections; and provides policy options for the Constituent Assembly, Supreme Judicial Committee for Elections, and other electoral system reform stakeholders.
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