Central Elections Commission Publish Preliminary List of Candidates for Local Elections

The Central Elections Commission Monday announced that it had registered a total of 874 electoral lists for the upcoming local elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Central Elections Commission (CEC) published a total of 874 electoral lists and candidates, including 787 lists in the West Bank and 87 lists in Gaza, for the local elections scheduled in October.

The local municipal elections, the first to be held jointly in the West Bank and Gaza in eight years, are scheduled for October 8, 2016.

CEC said in a press statement the list of candidates would be published for three days in order to enable candidates to verify their details and allow citizens to submit objections to CEC should any candidate or electoral list be ineligible to run for elections.

CEC said its decisions on objections can be contested before the Court of Appeal within three days from the date of issuance. The court should adjudicate and issue final rulings on appeals within five days from the submission date of the appeals.

According to data provided in the statement, a total of 867 electoral lists from all district offices were submitted for application during the nomination period.

CEC added that following the reviewing of all applications in accordance with Palestinian electoral law, it rejected the candidature of seven electoral lists for failure to meet the legal requirements, including six lists in the West Bank and another from Gaza.

CEC noted representatives of rejected electoral lists can contest the CEC's decision within three days.

It also noted that representatives of published electoral lists can withdraw their candidature application until September 23, but they could not modify their details nor add or withdraw any candidate from their list.

This announcement came several days after political factions and institutions in the northern West Bank city of Nablus decided to postpone municipal elections in the aftermath of the violent confrontations between gunmen and Palestinian security forces which culminated in the brutal beating to death of Ahmad Halaweh, the highest ranking Nablus-area leader of Fatah's military wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who was accused of being the mastermind of the shooting attack that killed two Palestinian security officers in Nablus.

United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Piper stated he was encouraged by preparations for the early October elections and appealed to all Palestinian parties to stick to the agreed code of conduct and refrain from actions that could undermine electoral process.

I am encouraged by the efforts of the CEC and the dedication of its staff in preparing for this important election which is to be carried out across the State of Palestine. It will be the first concurrent poll in the occupied West Bank and Gaza since 2006, he said.

However, Chairman of CEC had expressed concerns about potential Israeli restrictions on the entry of electoral material into Gaza as well as fears that Israel might not issue permits for CEC staff to enter Gaza through Erez border crossing and that Israel might apprehend some candidates or ban campaigns for some electoral lists.

Source: WAFA