Studies

Municipal and ikhtiyariah councils between elections and extension of term

By The Monthly - monthlymagazine.com | - last updated :

Next May, a little less than six months from now, the term of the current municipal and ikhtiyariah councils will come to an end. Although the expiration date is fast approaching, uncertainty is still shrouding the fate of the election at this juncture and it is yet to be established whether the elections will be held on time or whether we will have to resort to the bitter choice of extension of term, similar to the four-year extension of the Parliamentary term. Should it happen, the extension of term would pose dif cult challenges to the numerous municipal candidates who have been waiting for the elections and also, might cause sluggishness in municipal activity. However, the extension of term for municipal and ikhtiyariah councils is not going to be a first, for it has occurred during the time of peace before 1975 and also during the Civil War. In fact, no municipal and ikhtiyariah elections were held between 1963 and 1998 and laws of extending the term were always ready to legalize such action.

Extension laws

Municipal and ikhtiyariah elections were held in 1963. Despite the stability dominating that period, laws were nevertheless issued prolonging the mandate of the then municipal councils. There were even laws that authorized the government to fill the vacant posts in the already existing or newly introduced municipalities. They also reduced the quorum necessary for the activity of the municipal council from half the members to one third and further to one fourth. Table 1 illustrates the laws extending the municipal terms before, during and after the Civil War until 1998 when municipal elections were resumed.

Laws extending the term of municipal councils - Table 1
No. and date of term extension law extension period
Extension law dated June 13, 1961 until april 15, 1962
Extension law dated april 10, 1962 Until april 15, 1963
Law no. 31/67 dated May 16, 1967 Until June 30, 1969
Draft law put into effect by virtue of decree no. 1458 dated July 8, 1971 Until December 31, 1971 maximum. the government may appoint municipal committees.
Draft law put into effect by virtue of decree no. 2731 dated february 1, 1972 Until December 31, 1972 maximum. the government may appoint municipal committees.
Draft law put into effect by virtue of decree no. 4632 dated December 27, 1972 Until December 31, 1973 maximum. the government may appoint municipal committees.
law no. 13/74 dated May 30, 1974 until December 13, 1974
law no. 1/75 dated february 6, 1975 until May 31, 1975
law no. 1/75 dated february 6, 1975 until May 31, 1975
law no. 19/75 dated June 13, 1975 until December 31, 1975
law no. 1/77 dated January 15, 1977 Until June 30, 1977
law put into effect by virtue of decree no. 2120 dated June 25, 1979 From January 1, 1979 until December 31, 1980. the government could make appointments to vacant posts.
law no. 7/83 dated May 21, 1983 From January 1, 1983 until December 31, 1984. the government could appoint committees in the newly introduced municipalities and could also appoint speakers and MPs to vacant posts.
law no. 9/84 dated December 18, 1984 From January 1, 1985 until December 31, 1986 maximum. the council had to continue to exist even if it lost more than half of its members, as long as the remaining members totaled no less than one third.
law no. 16/87 dated May 4, 1987 From January 1, 1987 until December 31, 1988 maximum. the council had to continue to exist even if it lost more than half of its members, as long as the remaining members totaled no less than one fourth.
law no. 16 dated august 31, 1990 The term has been retroactively extended from January 1, 1989 until December 31, 1992. the council had to continue to exist even if it lost more than half of its members, as long as the remaining members totaled no less than one fourth.
law no. 180 dated December 22, 1992 Until December 13, 1993. the government could appoint municipal committees in those towns falling under israeli occupation with the consent of the majority of the electoral district’s MP.