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Palestinian elections: What is happening?

The deadline for submitting lists for the Palestinian Legislative Council outlines a clear difference in profiles of candidates. Gearing up for the elections has shaken the Palestinian scene and highlighted the strong dichotomy among the different groups.
A Palestinian artist adds the final touches to a mural painting calling on people to vote during the upcoming elections (legislative in May and presidential in July) in a street in Gaza City, on March 24, 2021.

The general Palestinian legislative elections due to take place May 22 has shaken up the still internal Palestinian waters. While different polls are predicting that the Fatah movement is getting slightly more votes than any other party, after 15 years without general elections and 1 million new voters, no poll can be truly trusted to reflect what will come out at the ballot boxes.

While many, including leaders of regional countries and the international community, are worried about the repeat of the 2006 elections, it is important to note that the Palestinian election’s law was changed by presidential decree in September 2007 from a combined national and regional vote to a single national vote based on the proportional system. Had the current law existed in 2006 Hamas would not have been able to monopolize the power that had caused the Gaza-West Bank split.

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