Palestinians vote in Local Elections
Palestine– The Palestinians cast their votes in the local elections in the West Bank, today, Saturday, amid mounting anger against President ‘Mahmoud Abbas’ after he canceled the legislative and presidential elections scheduled for earlier this year, according to ‘Reuters’. More than 400,000 Palestinians are entitled to vote to choose representatives of 154 local councils in West Bank villages run by the Palestinian National Authority headed by “Abbas.”
These elections include 376 villages in the West Bank, but they will not actually take place except in 154 towns, as no candidate has fielded in 60 towns, while one list was nominated in 162 villages, according to the Palestinian Central Elections Committee. About 405,000 Palestinian voters were called to cast their ballots, according to the Electoral Commission. The second phase of elections will be held in major cities next March.
But the elections were not held in the Gaza Strip, as the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” boycotted them in light of a dispute with the Fatah movement led by “Abbas.” Abbas, already trailing in opinion polls, sparked widespread outrage in April when he canceled legislative and presidential elections scheduled for the summer, citing Israeli restrictions on Palestinian voting in East Jerusalem.
‘The local elections process has begun in various polling stations in the West Bank,’ Palestinian Central Elections Committee spokesman Farid Ta’amallah told AFP on Saturday. Political analyst Jihad Harb stated that these elections “are not of political importance because they are held in villages and not yet in major cities,” adding that they are “useless” in the absence of “Hamas.”
No legislative or presidential elections have been held in the Palestinian territories for 15 years, but Hamas boycotted the municipal elections in 2017.