Palestine

Articles about voting issues in the State of Palestine.

Palestine: Local polls delayed for up to four months | Al Jazeera

The Palestinian government has delayed municipal elections for up to four months with Fatah and Hamas so far unable to overcome divisions to organise their first competitive polls in a decade. The postponement came on Tuesday, a day after the Palestinian high court ruled that the elections, initially scheduled for October 8, should be held only in the West Bank and not in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. A new date for the vote was not set by the government based in the West Bank, the Palestinian territory run by President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party. The Palestinian Central Elections Commission and the United Nations special representative welcomed the postponement, saying they were hopeful that Gaza would now be included in the eventual vote. The Palestinians have not held an election in which both Hamas and Fatah took part since 2006. They have also not held a vote in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip at the same time since then. Read More

Palestine: Next month’s Palestinian local elections aren’t happening. Here’s why. | The Washington Post

Voting in the Palestinian territories rarely occurs when it is supposed to, and this year is no exception. One month before local elections were scheduled across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Supreme Court in Ramallah postponed the vote until it rules on two complaints regarding the authority of Gaza’s court system to disqualify candidates and the exclusion of voters in East Jerusalem. Though nominally independent, the court’s judges were appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas, and the decision provides a convenient pretext for the ruling party, Fatah, to avoid an embarrassing defeat at the polls. But with an extensive security apparatus — and with Israel, the United States and neighboring Arab states dependent on Fatah’s continued control of the central Palestinian Authority (PA) institutions — what does Abbas have to fear from Palestinians electing their village, town and city councils? A look back at the recent history of municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza sheds light on why opportunities to elect new leadership at the local level can be so important in this context of frozen conflict. Read More

Palestine: Gaza becomes social media warzone ahead of Palestinian elections | The Guardian

he two most powerful Palestinian political movements in Gaza – Hamas and Fatah – are slugging it out in a social media war that is pitting video against video and hashtag against hashtag ahead of municipal elections in the Palestinian territories slated for October. The widespread use of social media for the first time in Palestinian elections has seen both sides locked in a conflict of narratives over conditions in the coastal strip ruled by Hamas since 2007, which has lived through three devastating conflicts with Israel in the last eight years. The battle of words and images was triggered by a series of slick videos posted on YouTube representing Hamas’s pitch for the municipal elections – not least in Gaza City, one of the three most important and populous Palestinian cities. The message, after years emphasising Israeli occupation, siege and resistance, is relentlessly upbeat, featuring two key phrases that have also been deployed as hashtags on Twitter and Facebook: “Thank you, Hamas” and “Gaza is more beautiful”. Read More

Palestine: Election commission starts updating voter registers, paving way for elections | Fox News

The Palestinian election commission has started to update voter registers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to pave the way for new elections — and reconciliation between the rival Fatah and Hamas factions. Monday’s registration drive is taking place both in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which is governed by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. The election commission says voter registration will continue until Feb. 18. Read More

Palestine: Hamas Invites Electoral Commission Chief to Gaza | Al-Manar

Hamas on Thursday invited the Palestinian electoral commission chief to come to Gaza to discuss restarting voter registration, in a key step towards Palestinian reconciliation. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya “called Central Elections Commission chief Hanna Nasser and invited him to Gaza for talks about voter registration,” a statement said. Hamas and the rival Fatah movement have been taking tentative steps to restart long-stalled reconciliation efforts, seeking to implement an agreement signed in Cairo in 2011 that was intended to lead to new elections. Read More

Palestine: Palestinians head to polls to vote for the first time since 2006 | The Times of India

Palestinians in the West Bank will head to the polls tomorrow day for the first time in nearly seven years, casting their ballots in local elections. But the long-delayed vote will only be held in the West Bank, with the first stage of voting to take place in 91 of the territory’s 353 municipalities. In another 181 localities, candidates were appointed unopposed, with elections to be held in the remaining areas at a date which has yet to be set, the Central Elections Commission (CEC) said.  Read More

Palestine: Local elections called for October 20 | AFP

The Palestinian government in the West Bank called Tuesday for local elections to be held in the West Bank and Gaza on October 20, the first since 2006, an official said. “The Palestinian government decided today during its meeting to hold the local, municipal and district elections on October 20th throughout the Palestinian territory,” the Palestinian official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The decision followed two such calls for local elections last year, with the Palestinian government in the West Bank seeking to hold the vote first in July 2011 and then in October 2011. It was at first scheduled for July 9, but after a surprise reconciliation deal between the rival Fatah and the Hamas movements, the date was put back to October 22.  Read More

Palestine: Hamas Suspends Voter Registration in Gaza | NYTimes.com

The Hamas-run government in Gaza suspended the work of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission on Monday, a day before it was to start registering new voters, abruptly halting one of the few tangible steps toward reconciliation with the rival Fatah party, based in the West Bank. The move pushed off the prospect of presidential and parliamentary elections. Though considered long overdue, no date had been set for them. The latest delay added a new complication in a reconciliation process that began more than a year ago with an accord brokered by Egypt that was described as historic but has mainly resulted in new rounds of talks, more documents and broken deadlines. Read More

Palestine: Steps taken toward holding elections | latimes.com

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas on Monday took steps toward holding elections more than a year after signing an agreement that was supposed to end five years of internal strife and division. Hanna Nasser, the chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, met in the Gaza Strip with Hamas leader there, Ismail Haniyeh, and later said the panel will immediately begin work on updating its Gaza voter registry. The effort will take at least six weeks to complete, he said. Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since its troops defeated forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2007, agreed last week to allow the West Bank-based commission to start work on updating the Gaza voter registry. At the same time, the Palestinian Authority president is expected to start consultations with Hamas on forming a new government headed by Abbas, which is expected to be announced in 10 days when he meets with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in Cairo. They also are expected to announce a date for the long-overdue presidential and legislative elections in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, which are expected to take place in six months. Read More

Palestine: Steps taken toward holding elections | latimes.com

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas on Monday took steps toward holding elections more than a year after signing an agreement that was supposed to end five years of internal strife and division. Hanna Nasser, the chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, met in the Gaza Strip with Hamas leader there, Ismail Haniyeh, and later said the panel will immediately begin work on updating its Gaza voter registry. The effort will take at least six weeks to complete, he said. Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since its troops defeated forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2007, agreed last week to allow the West Bank-based commission to start work on updating the Gaza voter registry. At the same time, the Palestinian Authority president is expected to start consultations with Hamas on forming a new government headed by Abbas, which is expected to be announced in 10 days when he meets with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in Cairo. They also are expected to announce a date for the long-overdue presidential and legislative elections in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, which are expected to take place in six months. Read More