Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 16:15:20 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: "I.A.P." <iap@IO.ORG>
Subject: AlAkhbar: Facts about PA Elections
Facts about PA Elections
From Al-Akhbar, 9 January, 1996
- The 7 major Palestinian factions call tomorrow's PA election the
sanctification by ballot of Yasser Arafat's dictatorship under the
shadow of Israeli occupation, while the Central Election Commission
calls it "the beginning of a new democratic chapter in the history of
- A closure has been imposed on the territories from 4 a.m. this
morning until the same time Sunday morning as part of the tight
- Thousands of Palestinian policemen were deployed at polling
stations yesterday to monitor election.
- The most prominent election monitor, former US president Jimmy
Carter, arrived yesterday, heading a delegation from his
Atlanta-based Carter Center. Carter said some independent candidates
had been kept off Palestinian television and radio. "In the
Palestinian community, independent and other candidates have not been
given access to the electronic media. This has not been fair," Carter
told a news conference in east Jerusalem, Reuter reported. "There has
also been a pattern of intimidation," Carter said. "Some of the most
prominent human rights observers, human rights activists among the
Palestinians have been arrested, distinguished journalists have been
arrested ...this intimidation has not been helpful."
- The elections come in the wake of the assassination of the Hamas's
Yihye Ayyash and recent arrests by Palestinian Police of activists
from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. One was
arrested in Ramallah for sticking up posters calling for a boycott of
the elections. Three others were arrested on suspicion of attacks on
Jewish settlers in Bethlehem this week. Weeks before PA arrested
human rights activists and number of jounalists.
- In Hebron, elections will be held while IDF is still present.
Only uniformed and unarmed Palestinian inspectors will patrol the
68 polling stations while IDF troops stay away. IDF troops will
come back as soon as election is over.
- In Jerusalem Israeli police will be in charge of security. The
vote is counted as a postal vote and the ballot boxes resemble post
boxes, with slots on the side instead of on top. When voting ends at
7 p.m. Israeli postal workers will take these boxes to the checkpoint
in north Jerusalem and hand them to Palestinian election officials.
- The number of representatives varies approximately according to
population. The largest is Gaza City with 12, Hebron 10, Nablus 8,
Khan Yunis 8, North Gaza 7, Ramallah 7, Jerusalem 7, Jenin 6, Central
Gaza 5, Rafah 5, Bethlehem 4, Tulkarm 4, Kalkilya 2, Jericho 1,
Salfit 1, and Tubas 1. Districts like Hebron (voting population
133,000) complain they should have more representatives than Gaza
City, with a voting population of 123,000. The discrepancies give
Gaza 42% of the seats, though it has 36% of the voting population.
- The parties boycotting the elections is as follows: Hamas, Islamic
Jihad, and the Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of
Palestine are officially boycotting the election.
- The parties participating in the election is as follows: There are
76 Fatah candidates and 21 from the People's Party (newly formed
Fatah party lead by PA negotiator Yaser AbedRabuh), and a handful
each from smaller parties; though many of the 506 independents are
identified with Fatah, its partner FIDA, and other smaller parties
like Haidar Abdel-Shafi's National Democratic Coalition (formerly
Movement for Building Democracy). There are 27 women candidates.
- More than 3500 Palestinian prisoners don't have the right to vote,
while PA police do. Other Palestinians were denied registrations on
grounds of being late and lack of registration cards.
- Up to now there is still a dispute on the number of people who have
the right to vote. Israel says 955,000. The Palestinian Central
Election Committee says 1,028,280. The difference indicates that
several thousand voters have been vetoed by Israel because they did
not fulfill requirements such as residency qualifications.
- According to the Israeli requirement of residency qualifications,
Arafat disqualifies from running for elections or even voting for
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