Palestinian local elections, 2004–2005

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Municipal elections were held between December 2004 and December 2005, to elect members of local councils in the Palestinian Territories. The elections were approved by President Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), before his death on 11 November 2004. They were administered by the Higher Committee for Local Elections (HCLE), a body established under the authority of the Ministry for Local Government, an institution of the Palestinian National Authority.

It were the first local elections held by the PNA. Previous municipal elections were held in 1972 and 1976, organized by the Israeli occupation power.[1]


The elections should take place in five rounds, but the fifth was not carried out, because of the situation in Palestinian Territories after formation of Hamas-led government.[2] Approximately 25% of Palestinians live in districts that did not have elections.

  • The first round of elections was held in two parts; the first part on 23 December 2004 in 22 localities in the West Bank and the second on 27 January 2005 in 14 localities in the Gaza Strip. The seats were allocated according to the simple majority system (districts).[3]
  • The second round was held on 5 May 2005 in 76 localities in the West Bank and 6 in the Gaza Strip. The seats were again allocated according to the simple majority system (districts).[4]
  • The third round of local elections was held on 29 September 2005 in 104 localities in the West Bank only. In this round the seats were allocated according to the proportional representation system (lists).[5]
  • The fourth round of local elections was held on 15 December 2005 in 37 population centers in the West Bank and 3 in the Gaza Strip. Seats were also allocated in this round according to the proportional representation system (lists). In some districts elections were canceled.[6]

In the first two rounds, council members were elected by Bloc voting election system, and the third and fourth by Party-list proportional representation.

Turn out was quite high. Over all, the local election showed Hamas relative strength and preparedness to deal with the block voting election system. One other side, it showed weakness and disorganization of Fatah and inability to understand the consequences of the voting system.

Jerusalem Governorate[edit]

The Jerusalem electoral district was divided into two zones:

  • The area of East Jerusalem annexed by Israel with, then, 250 000 Palestinians, holding Israeli ID cards
  • The remaining area with 27 Palestinian residential localities, which is occupied, but not annexed

Importance of the elections[edit]

Elections in the OPT are held to exercise the Palestinian right to selfdetermination in connection with their right to establish their own state, but are held under the burden of military occupation.[7] They are hold in the framework of the Oslo Accords, meaning that the power of the PNA was (and is) limited to matters like culture, education, ID-cards and the distribution of the land and water left by the Israelis. Such as far as the occupying power allows.

However, changes of the political reality, including elections and the formation of new political entities under occupation are, like the Oslo Accords themselves, contrary the Geneva Conventions and thus illegal.[8] As long as the Palestinian Territories are occupied, the elections can have little more than symbolic importance.

Israel does not allow free exercise of political activities; checkpoints and separation walls are already fit to hinder all social activities. The parlement cannot function, merely because free travel is not possible, especially between Gaza and West Bank, apart from hostilities between Fatah and Hamas. Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and other politicians are massively and lengthened detained by Israel or even killed, particularly those of Hamas.[9][10]

Moreover, PNA and parlement do not represent the Palestinians in the diaspora (to which the PLO is entitled).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Aude Signoles, Local Government in Palestine. University of Galatasaray, Turkey; October 2010
  2. ^ Central Elections Commission (CEC),Local election, 2004-2005
  3. ^ voters results
  4. ^ voters results
  5. ^ voters results
  6. ^ voters results
  7. ^ UN General Assembly, Resolution 58/292. Status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. 17 mei 2004 ( A/RES/58/292).
  8. ^ International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949 – Commentary ARTICLE 47. 2005
  9. ^ Addameer, Palestinian Legislative Council Members, juni 2012
  10. ^ Middle East Monitor (MEMO), Palestinian elected representatives are still detained by Israel, 14 september 2011