* Sky News Arabia reported that a number of young people under the age of twenty won seats to lead local groups in Morocco, which sparked a debate in the legal and political circles in the Kingdom. While observers praised the remarkable youthfulness of the elites during the recent elections, others questioned the extent to which they absorb the responsibility entrusted to them and their ability to manage public affairs. This rise of youth amid the recent elections led to protests by rival parties that refused the idea of youth holding positions of power. Political blocs submitted appeals against these results. The administrative judiciary decided on these appeals, including the decision to cancel the election of Najia Seddik (19 years old), a counselor for the Mostakmar community in the eastern district of Laayoune in Taourirt, who was recently elected president of the communal council. On September 23, the Administrative Court decided to accept the appeal and annulled the election result. Article 41 of the elections law stipulates that candidates must be aged 21 or older at the time of elections, which entails that those under 21 who won seats will automatically lose their spots. Activists added that elites did not necessarily want youth engagement despite their colorful slogans for youth engagement in elections.
* Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections and in commemoration of the second anniversary of the 2019 popular protests. They held pictures of youth who were killed in the protests as well as signs that read “when will we see the killers behind bars” and “we want a home, we want change”, among others, as Iraqis continue to demand that the government holds those responsible for the assassinations of activists accountable. It is worth noting that the elections, to be held this month, were initially scheduled for 2022. But current Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi promisd to hold it early when he assumed his position following the 2019 demonstrations which saw the death of 600 individuals as well as 30,000 injured. Since the 2019 demonstrations, more than 70 activists fell victims to assassinations or failed attempts.
* Iraq is preparing for early parliamentary elections on Oct 10, amid a series of challenges, most notably the difficult economic crisis, the growing influence of armed factions, and chronic corruption that controls the joints of the state. In a country that has suffered decades of wars and violence, in which 40% of the youth are unemployed, and poverty has been exacerbated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, early elections do not raise much interest and enthusiasm among the 25 million voters, while observers expect Low participation rate. The head of the Iraqi Political Thinking Center, Ihsan Al-Shammari, believes that "at a time when Iraqis are heading for elections, the country is still mired in corruption in all of its institutions, which contributes significantly to weakening confidence in the state." Amidst this context of public frustration, several parties and activists who participated in the October 2019 protests announced a boycott of the elections, especially because of the assassinations of activists. Other observers added that the majority of the political blocs participating in the elections are closely linked to armed factions, whether it is the Sadrist or the military factions affiliated with the Popular Mobilization.
* The Lebanese Minister of Youth and Sports, George Klass, indicated that "the situation in Lebanon is heading in the right direction." Klass reiterated that "the main goal is to gain the confidence of the people and the international community.” He emphasized the importance of restoring the confidence of young people in Lebanon. Regarding the youth policy, he said that he would present it to the Cabinet for approval, and that "young people will be at the center of it, and it will be at the level of the economic policy to support youth and motivate them to stay in Lebanon." Klass also announced his intention to create a youth card that includes obligatory contributions from the state for young people in a way that preserves their dignity.
* Tunisian Prime Minister-designate Najla Boden announced that the new line-up will include women and youth. She revealed that the government will consist of women and youth who are able to make a difference in this difficult period that the country is going through. Boden stressed that the priority is to advance the economy, improve living and health conditions, and reduce unemployment. Last Wednesday, Tunisian President Kais Saied assigned Boden to form the new government.
* The Royal Commission to Modernize the Political System in Jordan delivered its outcomes and recommendations concerning youth in public life, including draft electoral and political party laws as well as constitutional amendments and administrative reforms. Its youth-specific recommendations were divided into four age groups: (1) upbringing stage (ages 12-15), focusing on the quality of education and increasing the number of vocational and technical educational institutions; (2) the preparatory stage (age 16-18), focusing on creating municipal councils of youth, with a school representative in each council, increasing awareness of digital culture and entrepreneurship; (3) youth empowerment (ages 19-22), creating elected student unions or councils within each university with dedicated budgets to enhance their participation in public life; and (4) community, political, and economic participation (ages 23-35), for which the commission recommended enacting a national program to empower youth candidates for elected councils as well as engaging youth in government committees and local government administrations and councils.
* Qatar held its first ever legislative elections on October 2, as none of the 26 women candidates were voted in. The elections determine 30 members of the 45-seat advisory Shura Council, as the emir appoints the remaining 15 members. A report by Reuters highlighted the experiences of some of the female candidates who faced some pushback from men. They also highlighted that they sought to reflect positive change onto Qatar’s guardianship and citizenship laws.