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Why many Palestinians didn't take to the polls in local elections

As Hamas and other main factions boycotted the local elections held in the West Bank, Palestinians cast their votes in low numbers reflecting their mistrust in the political forces.
A Palestinian man shows his ink-stained finger after casting his ballot at a polling station during municipal elections in the West Bank village of Yatta, near Hebron May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad - RTX35MU6
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The Palestinian Central Elections Commission announced May 15 the results of local elections in the West Bank. The elections were held on May 13 and included 326 local bodies with 3,235 seats, with the participation of independent lists, as well as lists from Fatah, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian Democratic Union, the Democratic Alliance, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front and the Palestinian People's Party. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine chose to boycott the elections.

The Palestinian voter turnout was, however, very low. The total number of voters reached about 420,000 of 787,000 eligible voters — i.e., a 53% voter turnout. The voting percentage reached 23% in al-Bireh, 20% in Nablus, 53% in Qalqilya, 49% in Hebron, 40% in Tulkarm and 56% in Jenin.

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