Election postponement aggravates crisis in Palestinian political system – Middle East Monitor

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On January 26, 2006, Hamas was officially declared the winner of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections, with over 60% of the vote, Anadolu News Agency reports.

A year later, a political crisis between Hamas and Fatah led to a political split between them. As a result, the PLC was deactivated and elections have never been held since.

After years of political tides, the Central Election Commission announced its intention to hold parliamentary elections in May 2021. But, on April 29, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas postponed them to an uncertain date, amid allegations that they would not be held in Jerusalem. due to Israeli restrictions.

The postponement has resulted in a situation of loss of direction in the Palestinian political system. “There is a serious and deep internal crisis, not just because the elections were cancelled. This has ended any possibility of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas,” said Mustafa Barghouthi, a Palestinian politician and member of the PLC. . Anadolu Agency.

Barghouthi blamed the Palestinian Authority (PA) for blocking the holding of elections and for not accepting views that called for holding elections in Jerusalem and challenging the Israeli occupation.

“The PA is responsible for this process and it should choose a new date for it, especially since all the preparations are ready. They must give this right to our people after confiscating it for 16 years, and the elections in Jerusalem are not a pretext,” he said.

READ: PA sees Palestine through the lens of Israeli collaboration and security

Barghouthi, along with other politicians, suggested a plan to hold the elections in Jerusalem and it was endorsed by the other Palestinian factions. The plan suggested that he be treated as popular resistance against the occupation and the provisions of the Oslo Accords, which he says are unfair to the people of Jerusalem.

He pointed out that the process of separating the three authorities – judicial, executive and legislative – had a significant flaw. The legislature has been frozen since 2007, and he says the judiciary lacks genuine independence.

“One of the faces of this dilemma is that the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) is now under the control of the Palestinian Authority,” he said, saying it should have been the other way around. , the PLO being a sustained superior political body. by the PA.

Barghouthi pointed out that this situation weakens the Palestinians and puts them at square one with Israel, which is trying to convert the relationship with them into a simple security and economic relationship.

“Israel is now expanding its settlement and annexation plans, and that will never stop until the PA decides to change its policy internally,” he added.

In a related context, many Palestinian legal activists believe that the cancellation of the elections was due to the PA’s fear of losing.

READ: West Bank security ‘nearing boiling point’

“All the data suggests that the cancellation of the elections by the Palestinian Authority was due to its fear of the results. These results could lead to the elimination of the class that monopolizes power without democratic popular delegation,” said Ramy Abdu, the head of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Observer.

Abdu believes that the escalation of violations by Palestinian security agencies against Palestinians recently was aimed at forming a deterrent state, especially after the murder of Palestinian political activist, Nizar Banat, who was one of the candidates in the elections.

“The international community is committing the crime of silence in the face of many violations in the game of interests and fears, which are essentially attacks on the right of peoples to freely and democratically choose their representatives,” Abdu said.

“More than half of the electorate has never voted to elect its leaders, and the PA must recognize this and change its policies to solve this problem. The PA must endorse the concept of a democratic partnership,” he said. underlined Barghouthi.

However, he proposes that the development of a “strategy of struggle” as an alternative to the Oslo accords and negotiations with Israel, which have so far failed to find a just solution, could be the way out. of this political dilemma.

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