Municipal elections started in the West Bank, while Hamas refrained from holding it in the Gaza Strip, as it demanded holding national legislative and presidential elections first.
On December 11, 2021, the first voting round took place in 376 villages in the West Bank, and the second round will be held on March 26, 2022, in 102 local entities.
These elections, held in small villages, lacked real competition due to Palestinian factions objecting to President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision in April 2021, to postpone legislative and presidential elections which had not been organised for 15 years, during which municipal elections were held only once in 2017, and were also boycotted by Hamas.
These elections were scheduled to take place in 376 villages in the West Bank, however, it was held only in 154 towns, as there were no candidates in 60 towns, and one list was nominated in 162 villages, according to the Palestinian Central Elections Committee.
In 2006, Palestinians had their last chance to cast their votes in a general election that was won by Hamas, which Israel, the United States and others deemed a terrorist group. Since then, Palestinian elections have been canceled at least four times in 2009, 2011, 2018 and 2019.
In light of this, Global Rights Watch invites you to attend a seminar to discuss these elections and its challenges with political activists and experts.
Time and date:
6pm, Beirut time
To join on Zoom: https://bit.ly/3J7sKkV
• Mr. Aref Jafal – Director of the Arab Center for Democracy and Elections
• Mr. Samer Khweira – journalist
• Mr. Farid Tamallah – Spokesman for the Palestinian Central Elections Committee
Topics of discussion:
– The absence of real political competition amid Hamas’ refusal to participate in the elections, and its implications. (Mr. Aref Jafal).
- Obstacles to agreeing on a unified national strategy to confront the occupation by all means, and to strengthen resistance of all kinds, especially in the West Bank to get rid of the occupation, and the importance of the elections in achieving this strategy. (Mr. Aref Jafal)
– The challenges of holding elections in a divided political environment. Would the elections pose a big risk and contribute to more division within the Palestinian political arena, or would it resolve these issues. (Mr. Samer Khweira)
– The democratic stagnation has led to the marginalisation of an entire generation of young people, as it deprived them of the right to vote in the political decision-making. (Mr. Samer Khweira)
– To which extent is it true that holding municipal elections in stages is a manipulation of the law and a clear attempt to fake the results of the elections. Would such a claim affect the legitimacy of the elections? (Mr. Farid Tamallah)
– Means of selecting local and international monitoring bodies, how they work, and their role to ensure the transparency and integrity of the electoral process. (Mr. Farid Tamallah)