RAMALLAH, Saturday, March 26, 2022 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas, accompanied by Ramallah Governor Laila Ghannam, President of the Central Elections Commission (CEC), Hanna Nasser, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hussein al-Sheikh, and the General Supervisor of Official Media, Ahmad Assaf, today cast his vote in the local elections in the city of al-Bireh, adjacent to Ramallah.
“We are very happy that our people are exercising democracy," said President Abbas, expressing hope that elections would be held in all the Palestinian territories, not just in the West Bank, and that “we would be allowed to hold presidential and legislative elections in all the Palestinian territories."
Voter turnout for the second phases of the local elections reached 39% up until 4:00 pm local time, said the CEC, for a total of 278,324 out of the overall number of eligible voters of 715,413.
The polling centers, which opened at seven in the morning, will close at 7:00 pm local time.
Elections were held in 50 localities in the West Bank, including major cities and towns, while in 23 other localities, only one electoral list was nominated, which will win by acclamation, whereas in 28 localities, no electoral lists were nominated, and in one particular locality, one electoral list was nominated where the number of its candidates was lower than that of its council seats, which means the councils of these localities will be appointed by the government.
The CEC said 178 electoral lists were independent and 81 came from political parties (as in representing a political faction or political coalition). The number of candidates nominated for all electoral lists reached 2,537, including 678 women accounting for 26.7% of all candidates.
It also said 59% of the candidates were for ages younger than 45, 23% for ages 46-55, and 18% over 55 years of age.
The first phase of local elections was held on December 11 in 154 small and medium-sized localities in the West Bank only since Hamas, the de facto power in the Gaza Strip, refused to allow elections in the besieged sea enclave.
The second phase was also held in only the West Bank as Hamas refused to allow elections in the Gaza Strip.