Registration opens up for local elections in the West Bank

Published March 28th, 2017 - 02:00 GMT
Settlement building in the West Bank. (AFP)
Settlement building in the West Bank. (AFP)

The Palestinian Authority (PA)'s Central Elections Commission (CEC) on Tuesday invited candidates to register for the local election, due to be held in Israeli-occupied West Bank in May. 

In a statement, the commission said the registration process will remain open for ten days. 

“Political parties, coalitions and groups have the right to form electoral lists to run for the local councils,” the CEC said. 

Last month, the Ramallah-based Palestinian government decided to hold the polls in the West Bank and postponed the vote in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. 

According to official figures by the commission, a total of 1,134,636 people are eligible to vote in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in the May polls. 

Palestinian group Hamas, for its part, has refused to participate in the polls, saying inter-Palestinian reconciliation should first be achieved before the vote can be held. 

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has also boycotted the vote in protest of what it described as the “suppression” of peaceful protests outside the Ramallah courthouse earlier this month. 

The local election was originally scheduled for last October, but was postponed after members of President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party had their candidacies annulled by courts in Gaza, which is governed by rival faction Hamas. 

Had elections been held in October as planned, they would have seen Palestine’s two most prominent political movements -- Hamas and Fatah -- directly compete at the ballot box for the first time in a decade. 

Hamas boycotted Palestinian municipal polls held in 2012.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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