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Analysts: Despite Hamas absence, elections still Fatah failure
Published Sunday 21/10/2012 (updated) 25/10/2012 17:12
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A Palestinian girl looks at her mother staining her finger with ink after
casting her vote a polling station in the West Bank city of Ramallah
October 20, 2012.(Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The first elections held in the West Bank for six years reflect how frustrated Palestinians are with their political system and ruling party Fatah, political observers said Sunday.

The poll was held on Saturday in 92 of the 353 municipalities in the West Bank. Other seats were uncontested, creating automatic winners, or failed to register any candidates in this round, and will hold polls next month.

Preliminary results indicate that Fatah were beaten in Ramallah, Nablus and Jenin. In Hebron, Fatah and its opponents both claimed victory. The Central Elections Commission will announce official elections results later Sunday.

The highest voter turnout was in the Salfit district, where 68.5 percent of people voted. Reflecting the clout of Hamas' boycott call, voter turnout in Hebron, an Islamist political bastion, was just 33.7 percent.

Political analyst Talal Okel said low turnout was a result of frustration with the parties and the government. The CEC said just over 54 percent of eligible voters cast votes on Saturday.

Fatah has not benefited from the election, as they repeated many of the same mistakes that lost the party the 2006 parliamentary elections, including lack of consensus over candidates, he said.

Up to 27 Fatah members were expelled from the party in the run-up to elections for running in non-Fatah lists.

Analyst Mukhaymar Abu Saada said Fatah's continuing problem is a lack of discipline, in that candidates do not follow centrally-ordered directions, and form opposing lists, he explained.

PLO leader Hanan Ashrawi, who is not a Fatah member, said the election was surprising, and shows that many voters chose independents to punish Fatah. Fatah also failed to nominate good candidates, she said.

The vote also showed the divide between urban and rural Palestine, with much higher turnouts in the cities, Ashrawi noted.

Hamas' boycott of the polls did not have much impact, she added. Fatah leader and Jenin Governor Talal Dweikat pointed out that despite Hamas' absence, the turnout was not far below participation rates in the last local elections in 2005.

Dweikat said Fatah must learn from its mistakes in this poll. The elections are a victory for the Palestinian community, even if Fatah lost some districts like Jenin and Nablus, the governor said.

Palestinian National Initiative MP Mustafa Al-Barghouti said while he regrets the election was not also carried out in Gaza, it was a necessary step for long overdue local accountability.

Fatah's defeat in several big cities just highlights the failure of the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas, he said.

Palestinian people do not trust its leadership or government, al-Barghouti said.
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1 ) nice to see REAL DEMOCRACY / IN the WEST BANK
21/10/2012 18:32
an example to the whole world the PALESTINIANS WILL LEAD THE WAY to PROGRESS IN ISLAM!!!

2 ) Mahmoud / Palestine
21/10/2012 18:32
I think it doesn't matter much, the important thing is that elections were successfully conducted, whoever won, won! But I must say what has Mustafa Barghouti done to gain the "trust of the people"? I think the people would rather not vote than vote for leftist candidates!

3 ) << / <<
21/10/2012 18:36
"Fatah leader and Jenin Governor Talal Dweikat pointed out that .. the turnout was not far below participation rates in the last local elections in 2005. Dweikat said Fatah must learn from its mistakes in this poll. "maybe by sacking the likes of dweikat

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/10/2012 21:12
It's pretty bad when the opposition boycotts the vote -- and you lose anyway.

5 ) @ Mahmoud #2 / USA
21/10/2012 22:01
I think the important thing is that a place that calls itself "PALESTINE" held elections WITHOUT GAZA, which only solidifies the division of one non-state, into the two non-states of FATASTAN & HAMASTAN.

6 ) Pal / US
21/10/2012 22:49
Fatah, a bunch of losers. They do not represent palestinians. They are reps of satan

7 ) southparkbea / usa
21/10/2012 23:08
glad to see all the skilled leaders who managed over the years to promot the palestinian cause being elected with a decisive majority

8 ) gabi / australia
22/10/2012 01:43
"Fatah's continuing problem is a lack of discipline"? I see Fatah's continuing problem is that it gives too much to Israel without gaining anything. Over the years that Fatah has been attempting to negotiate with Israel it has given in on many points, and for nil concomitant benefit, while Israel has benefited over those years with the gaining of more land and more settlements.This is my view, which I guess can be criticised as the view of an outsider. Which is fair enough. . . .

9 ) @2 / <<<<
22/10/2012 02:35
well its either collaborators or those running gaza..

10 ) faris / syria
22/10/2012 02:37
maybe ma'an could post the elctoral results.rather than constantly propagating fatah or islamists ..in english

11 ) abu abbas / saida
22/10/2012 12:29
dweikat is a collaborator of the worse kind.fatah grassroot need to sack most of the p.a. leadership(incl dahlan)-for they own benefits

12 ) Rami / Palestine
23/10/2012 08:22
#5 why does every arab or islamic country have to have "stan" at the end? Is that your form of veiled racism?
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