While the Fatah and Hamas continue to struggle over control of the PA and Gaza, with national democratic elections there having been suspended since 2006, PA Arabs have gone to the polls Saturday in 145 Judea and Samaria municipalities. The voting, from 7 AM to 7 PM, was open and free, however, it was also being boycotted by Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Also, according to the Central Elections Committee, 181 municipalities offered only one list of candidates, who were automatically announced the winners. Also, in 65 municipalities no one was running. Those 145 locales where people were actually participating in the democratic process, 536 lists were on the different ballots, with 4,411 candidates competing over 1,561 seats.
The PA was not allowed to set up voting polls in eastern Jerusalem, ostensibly because it’s part of a neighboring country.
In the village of al-Nassariya in northern Samaria, near Shechem, the two competing candidate lists called on their supporters not to vote, after an agreement had been reached on the membership of the local council without the need for elections, according to Arab media.
Democracy in action…
According to the CEC, this round of municipal elections cost an estimated $6 million.
By 4 PM, voter turnout was at 274,152, or 35.3% of the 787,386 eligible registered voters.
Update: As the polls closed, only 50% of eligible registered voters had voted. Of course that assumes that there actually are 787,386 eligible registered voters in the first place. Final results will be reported on Monday evening.