web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Abbas’s Plan to Steal Local Elections

The question now is not whether Fatah would win the vote, but how large the victory will be.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas
Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90

After repeated delays, Palestinians in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] are scheduled to hold local elections on October 20 for 245 village councils and 98 municipalities.

In recent weeks, the Fatah leadership has been working hard to ensure that its candidates win the local elections.

Since the first free and democratic Palestinian local elections were held in 1976 under the Israeli military government, the Palestinians have had only one local election — in 2005.

The 2005 elections saw Hamas candidates score major victories in most West Bank cities, including Nablus, Kalkilya, Bethlehem and Tulkarem.

This year’s elections, however, are being boycotted by Hamas, leaving its rival Fatah faction as the main contender.

Hamas’s decision to boycott the upcoming vote was, ironically, one of the main reasons why the Palestinian Authority leadership decided to go ahead with the elections.

When Hamas announced its decision to boycott the local elections, there was a sigh of relief in Ramallah.

The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank wants to avoid a repeat of the 2005 election, which saw Hamas candidates take over many village councils and municipalities.

Fatah is instead being challenged by independent candidates and representatives of some PLO groups, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the People’s (Communist) Party.

The question now is not whether Fatah would win the vote, but how large the victory will be.

To ensure a landslide victory, the Fatah leadership, headed by Abbas, has taken a number of measures aimed at weakening its rivals.

First, Fatah has dismissed about 50 of its members who decided to run as on an independent ticket in the elections.

Among those who were dismissed is Ghassan Shaka’a, a prominent Fatah figure from Nablus who has decided to contest the vote outside his faction’s framework. Shaka’a, a former Nablus mayor, has angered Abbas and the Fatah leadership by running as an independent candidate.

Second, Fatah has decided to suspend funds to the other PLO groups that are running against Fatah in the local elections.

Until last month, these groups, especially the PFLP and DFLP, used to receive regular funding from the PLO leadership, although most of them are opposed to the Oslo Accords and peace talks with Israel.

Abbas is hoping that the dismissal of unruly Fatah candidates and the suspension of funds to his political rivals will guarantee his loyalists a smooth victory.

Abbas’s efforts to take over the village councils and municipalities began long before the date was set for the local elections.

Over the past few years, Abbas’s government and security forces have dismissed and arrested several elected mayors and members of municipal councils who were affiliated with Hamas or other rival groups.

This is, in fact, one of the main reasons why Hamas says it decided to boycott this year’s elections. According to Hamas officials, there can be no free and fair elections in the West Bank while Abbas is cracking down on anyone who dares to challenge him.

Fatah’s decision to hold local elections only in the West Bank is an admission that the Palestinians have two separate entities: the West Bank and Gaza. Abbas’s critics say that by insisting on going ahead with the vote, he has “solidified” the split between the Fatah-controlled West Bank and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

This is something that the U.N. General Assembly will have to take into consideration when it is scheduled next month to vote on Abbas’s application to upgrade the status of a Palestinian state to “non-member.” The UN members should ask Abbas which state he is talking about — the one in the West Bank or the one in the Gaza Strip?

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

About the Author: Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Abbas’s Plan to Steal Local Elections”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The United States condemned Iran for honoring Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh but is not so bothered when Abbas honors PA terrorists.
CIA, Mossad Collaborated on Killing Hezbollah No. 2 Leader in Damascus
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Khaled Abu Toameh
This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

Kfar Kana Riots

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

Kerry and Obama must start listening to what Palestinian leaders are telling their people in Arabic.

Adult activists who send and encourage children to take part in violence should be held accountable.

To flee Gaza, Palestinian migrants reputedly paid $1000s to Hamas officials and Egyptian smugglers.

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/abbass-plan-to-steal-local-elections/2012/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: