RAMALLAH, Friday, September 25, 2020 (WAFA) – Fatah-Hamas agreement to hold the first elections in nearly 15 years marks “a significant step to revitalize and unity the Palestinian political system”, according to PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi.
“The promising developments emerging from talks between Fatah and Hamas are welcome news for the Palestinian people. Ending the ongoing rift in the political system is a pressing priority that is long overdue,” she said in a press statement.
“Most importantly, agreement on holding elections sends a positive signal of seriousness and commitment to the Palestinian people in their right to exercise ownership of the political system and choose their representatives.”
“As an essential component of democracy, elections are a means of re-legitimizing and reforming our political system. They should reactivate and regenerate a healthy political life that is both inclusive and diverse and that would buttress the resilience of the Palestinian people. Elections will provide an opportunity for those sectors that feel marginalized and excluded to organize and mobilize and to put forward a positive platform and work plan that reflect their priorities. This is their opportunity to be part of the change and reform they have been calling for,” she added.
“Given that the elections are to be held on the basis of proportional representation, Palestinian political factions must fulfill their obligations and previous commitments to include women and youth in advanced positions in their electoral tickets. It is also important that civil society organizations actively provide a support system for women and youth in the upcoming elections to ensure their participation both as candidates and voters. The international community must also actively ensure that Israel does not hamper or obstruct elections throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. It must also respect the results of the elections and extend support to the elected bodies.”
“In light of the challenges posed by the Israeli occupation and the COVID-19 pandemic, it will fall on the Central Elections Committee to fully prepare for different contingencies and devise creative ways, including employing technological solutions, to overcome any unforeseen obstacles.”
“While we recognize that elections are not a panacea, we see them as a significant step forward in ending the rift and bringing new energy and fresh perspectives within a unified democratic reality capable of meeting the grave challenges confronting Palestine.”