[News] Palestinian left-wing forces announced their intention to run in the Palestinian local council (municipal) elections

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 8 10:19:21 EDT 2016


  Hamas, Fatah no longer the only candidates in Palestinian elections

Posted August 5, 2016

Author: Moath al-Amoudi

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Palestinian left-wing forces 
announced their intention to run in the Palestinian local council 
(municipal) elections slated for Oct. 8, in a unified list of five parties.

This is the first time that left-wing factions run in Palestinian 
elections as part of a unified list. In the previous Palestinian 
legislative elections in 2006 these factions ran in separate lists 
such as the list of Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa affiliated with the Popular 
Front for the Liberation of Palestine 
(PFLP), the Alternative list affiliated with the coalition of the 
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the Palestinian 
Democratic Union (FIDA), the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP) and the 
Independent Palestine list affiliated with the Palestinian National 
Initiative (PNI).

In a July 28, 2015, interview with a PFLP-affiliated website, Kayed 
a member of the PFLP's political bureau, said, “The five left-wing 
factions — the PFLP, DFLP, PPP, FIDA and PNI — agreed to form a unified 
list consisting of figures affiliated with the democratic current to 
participate in the Oct. 8 local council elections.”

He explained that the list will include candidates that are competent 
and qualified to work in municipalities according to a service-based 
program that reflects the needs of the people and that makes positive 
and constructive contributions by exploiting all available resource in 
an optimal way.

Ghul added, “What is required now is to break the acute polarization 
between Fatah and Hamas plaguing the Palestinian society since the 
Fatah-Hamas dichotomy. This pushed the left-wing forces to unite and 
provide a unified vision with social dimensions that serve all 
Palestinians and not a particular movement.”

In regard to the possibility of an alliance between the left-wing forces 
and other Palestinian factions such as Islamic Jihad, Hamas or Fatah, 
Talal Abu Zarifa, a member of the DFLP’s political bureau, told 
Al-Monitor, “Contacts were made by Palestinian factions to participate 
[in the list] and form an alliance in the upcoming municipal elections, 
but the left-wing forces will not support or participate with any of 
those factions, and will only run in the elections in its unified list.”

On whether the left wing would gain a larger number of the votes through 
the unified list, Zarifa said, “Every stage has its specific 
circumstances. The 2006 elections are different from the 2016 elections. 
Today there is a [sharp internal] division and a deterioration of 
services provided to the citizens. We should not build on the number of 
votes obtained by the left-wing parties in the legislative elections in 
2006, even if this serves as an indicator. The left-wing factions today 
are running in the elections in a unified list. There is a positive buzz 
in the media and the Palestinian street about this list.”

Hanna Nasir, the head of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission 
<http://www.alquds.co.uk/?p=557020> had announced that the local council 
elections in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the outskirts of 
Jerusalem will be held on Oct. 8, and that all requirements necessary to 
ensure the freedom and independence 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX0Rh5Qug7c> of elections in the West 
Bank and Gaza have been met and the Palestinian factions are preparing 
their electoral lists.

Walid Awad, a member of the political bureau of the PPP, talked to 
Al-Monitor about the unified list’s electoral program, saying, “We are 
preparing our lists in the Palestinian cities in Gaza. We will encourage 
youth and women to assume top decision-making positions, especially 
since the municipal elections will pave the way for holding legislative 
and presidential elections 
at a subsequent phase. We will set up services councils and try to cut 
taxes. Taxes will be mainly collected from large companies and allocated 
to implement development programs and do justice to the workers and the 

Saleh Abdel Jawad, a professor of political science at Birzeit 
University, told Al-Monitor, “No faction alone can achieve a 
breakthrough in the municipal elections. If the left-wing forces unite 
they can achieve some [good] results, but on the ground, the supporters 
of the left-wing constitute a small proportion of society and even if 
these forces ran in the elections in a unified list, they cannot achieve 
surprising results. In the legislative elections in 2006, the left-wing 
forces ran in separate lists and only obtained 8% of the percentage of 
the votes and 8% of the total of seats in the PLC.”

All Palestinian political parties and factions signed a Charter of Honor 
<http://www.alquds.com/articles/1469376721845691100/> on July 24 in 
regard to the local council elections. According to this charter, the 
parties shall see to the integrity of the electoral process, avoid all 
hindrances, respect freedoms and refrain from exerting any form of 
pressure or intimidation, levelling accusations of treason or atonement 
or committing violence against any of the lists and candidates, and 
respect the elections results.

Hani Habib, a political writer for Al-Ayyam newspaper, told Al-Monitor, 
“This is the first time the left-wing parties run in the elections in a 
unified list. During the previous municipal elections in 2005, these 
forces were dispersed and failed, but this time the left-wing parties 
have to face Hamas and Fatah and create a state of balance by forming a 
unified list to compete against them. This is the demand of all 
Palestinians supporting the left-wing parties. This step — the first of 
its kind — is important since it united the left-wing factions.”

Analyzing whether this unified left-wing list would break the 
polarization between Fatah and Hamas 
in Palestinian society, Habib said, “All positions are already taken, 
since the majority of the votes are distributed between Fatah and Hamas 
and every citizen in Gaza and the West Bank has well-known political 
orientations. I doubt the left-wing list will obtain a large number of 

Writer and political analyst Talal Okal told Al-Monitor, “The list will 
not be able to break the polarization, as hoped by the left-wing 
leaders, but it might get a larger percentage of the votes in light of 
the adoption of the full proportional representation system in the West 
Bank and Gaza according to Law No. 1 of 2007 
on general elections. The list would be able to meet the 8% electoral 
threshold and qualify to enter into genuine partnerships after the 
results of the local council elections.”

It should be noted that the Palestinian left-wing forces collectively 
obtained <http://www.mesc.com.jo/Studies/Studies_3.html> less than 10% 
of the votes in the second Palestinian legislative elections in January 
2006, while some left-wing candidates did not meet the 2.5% threshold 
for individual candidates, which is the minimum share of the votes 
required to secure any representation in a legislature.

Read More: 

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