Palestinian Factions’ Meeting to Discuss the Elections

The President of the PA Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree on the implementation of Palestinian elections starting with the Legislative Council on May 22nd, 2021; followed by the presidential elections on July 31st, 2021; and finally the National Council on August 31st, 2021. These dates were decided on after the Electoral Law went under major amendments.

The Palestinian people are experiencing a sense of optimism as 2.3 out of 2.8 million eligible Palestinian voters updated their information at the electoral register according to the statistics of the Central Elections Commission.

All Palestinian factions have shown their support to such an important event in the lives of the Palestinian people. Hamas, the main political opposition to Fatah, declared its willingness to undertake an honest process of elections while the Jihad and Popular Front refrained from announcing their position until the meeting in Cairo is held.  

Insight of the Situation

The Palestinian factions have agreed on holding a meeting on February 5th, 2021, with all factions’ representatives attending in Cairo to address multiple issues. Ahmed Hillis, member in Fatah’s Central Committee, said that among the proposed issues are the methods for forming the electoral lists, the possibility for forming joint or multiple lists, and the agreement on forming an honest monitoring committee that follows up the electoral process.

Mousa Abu Marzouq, member in Hamas’ Political Bureau, announced that the meeting was postponed to February 15th without mentioning the reasons behind such delay. This has brought up some concerns among the Palestinians over whether the elections would be held or not due to disagreements among the factions; especially if the disagreement is between the two key factions: Hamas and Fatah. It is expected that Hamas would refuse running in a joint list with Fatah. This reduces the chances of the implementation of elections.

Nevertheless, the realization of such scenario is drawing back as the international community wants elections to delegitimize Hamas who has been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2006 elections.

Possible Scenarios

  • The Palestinian factions would agree on the methods of forming the lists with the consent of all parties under the sponsorship of the international community which wants to delegitimize Hamas. The elections would start with the legislative elections, and then the presidential elections but without the National Council.
  • All parties concede to one another to meet the aspirations of the Palestinian people for the elections; and they manage to implement honest elections all the way to the National Council.
  • Hamas and Fatah disagree on the methods of forming the electoral lists which leads to canceling the electoral process.

The first scenario is most likely to happen as it greatly relates to the status-quo.

Source : PALM Strategic Initiatives Centre