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The Postponement of the elections is not the end
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
October 10, 2016
The experience of postponing the elections and the failure to make them at their specific time prove that the two sides of division, Fatah and Hamas, are no longer able to offer what is useful to the Palestinian situation.

Finally the track of preparing for the municipal and local elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip finished with failure by a decision of the Palestinian Authority’s government to postpone them for four months, under different possibilities. From the moment of the announcement of the organization of elections, the views were different and mixed. Some considered it as an important step on the way to organize the Palestinian community through the provision of its local tools, in a democratic way to manage its local affairs, and to enhance the elements of steadfastness in the face of the occupation.

As well as, the local elections - which are an expression of freedom and democracy through people’s testing for its representatives, and as an alternative to the administrative and bureaucratic appointments - are possible to put an end to a stage in the life of the Palestinian people in which the institutions where disrupted and dominated by the tendencies of singularity, stability and individual decisions. Some also considered the elections as a gateway opens the door to organize inclusive elections, presidential and legislative in the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization, in a way to rebuild the suspended institutions on democratic foundations by the elections, according to the principle of the full proportional representation, and to recombine these institutions and to end the division, away from the policies of bipolar , quotas and maintaining the factional interests at the expense of the general national interests.

Maybe the municipal and local elections could re-open the door before the Palestinian people to decide its own destiny, and to contribute in ending the manifestations of political, administrative and financial corruption and to rebalance the relationship between the parliamentary and popular legislative and regulatory institutions, and between the executive institutions.

On the opposite side, some views emerged calling for the postponement of the elections (the alternative password to cancel the elections) on the pretext that the Fatah movement’s conditions are not ready to enter the battle. And thus, these views put their factional interests before the national interest and ignored the need to adhere to the legal and constitutional entitlements, and the matter of the readiness of this party or that to face these entitlements, is not the determining factor for the organization of the elections.

Behind this call was lying the mentality of unilateralism and dominance, and the fear of the other as an alternative to the mentality of the national partnership, and the need to unite all the ranks against the occupation and the settlements.

In the face of this mentality another mentality emerged resorted to the policy of ambushes and deactivation in different ways among them was the heading to an already politicized judiciary in Ramallah, or Gaza, for the exchange of appeals in the nominated lists by Fatah and Hamas. It is clear , according to how the matters were done , that the two parties of the division - and instead of seizing the opportunity for the success of the elections and pushing for the restoration of unity - used the policy of bickering , deactivation and opposite deactivation , which revealed the falsity of the two parties’ statements about their willingness, separately, to end the division, and to commit to what has been agreed on, in the rounds of the collective, and the bilateral dialogue, in Cairo, Gaza or in Doha.

Deactivating the local and municipal elections, proving once again, in a very clear way this time, that the two sides of division , Fatah and Hamas, arrived with their policies to the impasse, and that this pathway which is adopted by each of them is no longer able to offer to the Palestinian people any positive thing, and that everything issued by the two sides but to deepen and expand the division and the political crisis of the Palestinian situation, and to weaken it more and more, and to block the prospects before the crowds’ movement, and to deepen the uncertainty among large segments of the Palestinian people.

The calling for the municipal and local elections had formed an opportunity to mobilize the popular situation and that was represented in by the turnout of voters to update the electoral lists, in preparation for the participation in the democratic process. Also, it was represented by the large turnout of young people, and from the independent figures to form their own lists to run in the elections. It was said about this matter that the turnout of the independents to run but expresses about a weak confidence with factions, but this turnout, expresses at the same time about the readiness of the popular situation , to contribute directly - although outside the factions - to re-organize themselves and to solve their problems. If there reasons for the lack of confidence with factions, the main reason for this is the status of division which almost destroys all what is positive in the Palestinian situation. Perhaps the decision to postpone the elections for four months, under the influence of Fatah-Hamas conflict, may has a negative impact on the spirits of the People's case, which will deepen its weak confidence with the factions, from the entrance of its weakness of confidence with Fatah and Hamas.

In this context, the critical statements by Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau in which he announced that Hamas erred in several situations especially by the policy of seizing the governance policy, are not serious, and did not take their way to be applied and they are just words in the air. Also, the positions of the Fatah Central Committee and its revolutionary council, in the recent statements, from the insistence of the movement on the success of the elections, and the reunification of the Palestinian situation and end the division, and other promises, just words said at some events to get the sympathy of the street, and to accuse the other, and to exempt the self from any responsibility for what the situations have become.

The current situations are the outcome of the policies of Fatah and Hamas, who are sharing power, in Ramallah, and in Gaza, and who are practicing their influence on the administration, including the judiciary. So, the outcome of the process of the election is the result of their devastating divisive policies.

In this complex state, the role of the Democratic Alliance with its five factions [DFLP, PFLP People's Party and the initiative party and the FIDA party] has emerged to provide a new experience, which will end the bipolarity time, and present the left and the progressive and democratic forces with coalition formula , that will make a new movement in the Palestinian street, and mobilize the elements of power in a wide array of the social sections who lost their confidence on both sides of the division.

The Democratic Alliance has struggled to form its electoral lists for the municipalities and councils, and it has achieved an important step, in the Gaza Strip, and another step in the West Bank. It is assumed that this coalition should not be just an electoral coalition, but we believe that this coalition to present itself to the Palestinian public opinion in all the fields of political, social and cultural work in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and to establish the third pole which presumably, to occupy its position in the Palestinian political situation and we believe that the four months period , imposed by the government of the PA to postpone the election, should form a chapter of the coalition’s work and activity. The need of the Palestinian situation to the «Democratic Alliance» as we think overreaches the electoral plan, towards the national political need, to create the balance and to generate a heavy popular political crane to keep up the pressure, with all the democratic methods to end the division and to drop its political programs and to restore the united and unified national program.

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