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Palestinian elections

  • Mahmoud Abbas and the veneer of democracy

    Abbas' decision to dissolve the parliament and hold elections within half a year is an attempt to present a friendlier, more democratic face to Palestinians in the West Bank, many of whom lost faith in their leader long ago. By Menachem Klein Mahmoud Abbas’ decision last week to dissolve the Palestinian parliament and hold elections within half a year are meant to give the Palestinian president a veneer of democracy and the rule of law. Abbas’ decision appears to be a response to a ruling handed down by the Palestinian Constitutional Court, yet it is clear to all that the decision to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative…

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  • Left-wing Palestinian parties join forces for upcoming elections

    Five parties announced the establishment of the 'Democratic Alliance' that will run in the upcoming municipal elections. The goal: a third party option to Fatah and Hamas. Five left-wing Palestinian parties in the occupied territories announced they will run on a joint list in the upcoming municipal elections. Elections are expected to take place on October 8th in over 300 municipalities, village councils, and regional councils in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The parties, which will run together under the name the "Democratic Alliance," have not ruled out the possibility that this will be the first step in forming a…

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  • The only people planning for the day after Abbas

    Mahmoud Abbas’s sudden departure from the political stage could throw Palestine into complete chaos. And the only two sides preparing for such an eventuality are the Israeli Right and Hamas. By Menachem Klein It could happen tonight or tomorrow morning. Out of nowhere, just like Ariel Sharon, Mahmoud Abbas could have a stroke and fall into a vegetative state. Unlike the case in Israel, however, Abbas has no designated successor or deputy like Ehud Olmert was for Sharon. The Palestinian Authority’s Basic Law says that such a vacancy would be automatically and temporarily filled by the speaker of the Palestinian…

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  • 50 years of the PLO: Where to now?

    The organization's face has changed significantly since 1964, most dramatically in the past 20 years since Oslo. The PLO must find a way to include the diaspora, empower grass roots activism and keep alive its founding spirit as a national liberation movement. By Samer Badawi Take one look at the website of the Palestine Poster Project, and you’ll get a glimpse of another era, when the iconography of the Palestinian struggle came in bold hues attached to even bolder slogans. Among the collection is a gold-tinted composition by the renowned Palestinian artist and art historian Kamal Boullata. The caption is…

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  • WATCH: Palestinian women-only list makes bid for municipal council

    Palestinian voters in the West Bank are casting their ballots for the first time in six years, as part of the occupied territories elect municipal council officials in nearly one-hundred towns and villages. HEBRON, WEST BANK - On Saturday, Palestinians went to the polls in an election that is being closely watched by the Palestinian Authority and by the international community. The vote for municipal councils is seen as a precursor for parliamentary and presidential elections, even though Hamas, the Islamic militia-cum-political party that controls that Gaza Strip, is boycotting the vote. Hamas insists the elections, which have been delayed…

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  • PLO committee agrees to push for landmark elections

    With the Palestinian political horizon looking grim, reconciliation, elections and reform may be the only hope. News of a major development in Palestinian politics was reached today in Cairo between leaders of various Palestinian factions. A committee established by the reconciliation agreement signed in May 2011 to advance PLO reform has agreed to push for direct elections to the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the PLO’s parliament and highest legislative body, once polling and a mechanism can be reached. PNC elections, if held, would be a landmark accomplishment for Palestinian politics and pave the way for a representational government including Palestinians…

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  • Omar’s beautiful, dark, twisted—political fantasy

    Last night a bizarre answer to a reasonable question popped into my head. And all glory be to the blog, I am able to compose this little articulation-of-no-consequence knowing clear well that it will be published, even if it is just by me. It all began after an intense evening of ‘trivia-night’ at a local Ramallah restaurant—yes, we are all nerds in our own fashion—my mind feeling especially limber, I began to think to myself, why would Mahmoud Abbas decide to call for elections now, and so soon?—Abbas having recently announced his desire to hold elections in January. Hamas, his…

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  • Palestinian elections: Recent polls show mixed signals

    In terms of Palestinian democracy, there is no question that calling Presidential and Parliamentary elections for September 2011 (and maybe local elections) is the right thing. Postponed since 2009, holding elections can only strengthen the democratic culture and the legitimacy of state authorities. Holding regular, free elections in a non-state entity is actually an important part of state-building in other non-recognized states. In free and fair elections, such entities both choose leaders, but also signal internally and externally that the leadership is serious about its statehood project. But there are many questions about who would win. Horse race polls this…

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