During a PNGO Dialogue Session: Demanding A National and Societal Dialogue to Hold Elections for Local Councils in Palestine

Civil and human rights organizations representatives demanded the Palestinian government to hold municipal and local council elections in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Jerusalem in the same time, following the local council elections law.

This came during a dialogue session organized by the Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO), where attendees discussed ways to immunize elections as a process to achieve the long-awaited political reconciliation.

The session was a part of the Enhance the Civil Society role to Work for National Independence compassing principles of democracy, social justice and respect of human rights project, which was implemented in partnership with Norwegian People's Aid (NPA).

The participants stressed the importance of creating a suitable atmosphere that guarantees the existence of unified, free, fair, and transparent elections in all its variants, presidential, legislative, and local. This step must reflect the will of the voters according to a specific timetable in the various cities and villages of Palestine.

On the same note, they highlighted the need to hold a national and societal dialogue between the government, factions, national forces, and civil society organizations. The talks facilitate reaching an understanding that shapes a healthy and appropriate democratic environment for organizing elections.

Adding to that, the attendees considered that success in organizing simultaneous local elections would present a giant leap for holding general presidential and legislative elections and the Palestinian National Council, as well as the elections for trade unions, federations, and student councils in universities.

Finally, they warned of the consequences of organizing councils and municipalities' elections in the West Bank without the Gaza Strip. That would, according to them, deepen the ongoing political division and encourage more separation between the two parts of the county.


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