Palestinian policemen guard outside the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jan. 16, 2021.
Palestinian policemen outside the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah
Photo: Reuters
Palestinian policemen outside the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah

Palestinians report 93% voter registration for upcoming elections

Legislative and presidential vote to be held on May 22 and July 31, respectively, for the first time in 15 years; 2.6 million out of 2.8 million eligible voters register before Tuesday deadline

Reuters |
Published: 02.17.21 , 17:43
Fifteen years after Palestinians last went to the polls, some 93% of eligible voters in the West Bank and Gaza have registered for long-awaited elections, official figures showed on Wednesday.
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  • Palestinians over 18 were eligible to register online, by phone or in person for parliamentary elections planned for May 22 and a presidential vote set for July 31.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinian policemen guard outside the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jan. 16, 2021.
    Palestinian policemen guard outside the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jan. 16, 2021.
    Palestinian policemen outside the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The Central Election Commission said 2.6 million out of 2.8 million eligible voters did so before a Tuesday deadline.
    In the previous Palestinian election, in 2006, around 80 percent of 1.6 million eligible voters registered but only about one million cast ballots, the commission said.
    There has been widespread skepticism that the ballots will actually go ahead, after years of enmity between the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, and Hamas Islamists, who run Gaza.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right, and then Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, left,
    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right, and then Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, left,
    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (R) and former Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh
    (Photo: AP)
    The 2006 ballot ended in a surprise win by Hamas, which was running for the first time in parliamentary elections. A power struggle ensued and in 2007 the militant group seized control of Gaza from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
    Abbas, 85, is expected to run in the new presidential election.
    Palestinians also plan for this year's ballots to take place in East Jerusalem, which Israel captured along with the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in a move that has not won international recognition.
    Israel allowed Palestinians to vote in East Jerusalem in 2006.
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