BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Out of the 70 municipalities that did not participate in the occupied West Bank’s local elections in May, voting will take place in just 15 of them in the upcoming “complementary” local elections scheduled for July 29, the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) said Tuesday.
It was announced at the end of May that the supplementary municipal elections would be held in the West Bank councils that did not present electoral lists in time for the regular elections. Elections would also reportedly take place in the Gaza Strip.
The May 13 elections
only took place in the West Bank, as Hamas, the de facto ruling party of the besieged Gaza Strip, rejected the legitimacy of the election, saying that elections should only be held after the more than decade-long rivalry between Hamas and Fatah came to an end and reconciliation was achieved.
When the timeline of the coming supplementary elections was announced
on May 31, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that voting in the Gaza Strip would take place on Oct. 10, after the July elections in the West Bank.
However, the CEC’s statement on Tuesday made no mention of coming elections in Gaza, and it remained unclear how the Palestinian Authority (PA) expected to carry out elections there, as Hamas has not publicly reversed their boycott of the elections.
The CEC statement said that the 15 West Bank municipalities would hold elections on July 29, as they had more than one nominated list.
Only one list presented itself in 18 other municipalities, and were thus expected to win uncontested.
Elections will not take place in 36 municipalities where no lists were nominated, and in another municipality due to an incomplete nomination, according to the CEC. The Palestinian cabinet was expected to appoint council members in these municipalities.
During the nomination period the CEC received 74 nomination applications. The CEC accepted the nomination of 73 lists upon meeting the legal requirements of nomination stipulated in the local elections law and rejected one list for failing to meet the nomination conditions.Nominated lists can still withdraw their nomination until July 14 and the final register of lists and candidates will be announced on July 15, coinciding with the commencement of elections campaigning activities, according to the CEC.