Date: 09 January 2005
Today, 9 January 2005, PCHR has published a report evaluating the election campaign for the Palestinian presidential election and related violations of the regulations prescribed by the electoral law concerning this campaign. The report examines the commitment of candidates and related parties with the regulations prescribed by the electoral law during the official period of the election campaign, 25 December 2004 – 7 January 2005.
The report is part of the effort to monitor all stages of Palestinian elections by PCHR in cooperation with 26 Palestinian civil society groups throughout the Gaza Strip. It includes a comprehensive evaluation of the election campaign during the official period with regard to: regulations of the election campaign; intervention by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and its security services into the campaign; campaigning in the official media; security of the campaign; and the effects of the political environment on the campaign.
In its report, PCHR has depended on information collated by around 300 observers throughout the Gaza Strip whom it trained and supervised in the context of its efforts to monitor the Palestinian elections, in its capacity as an accredited local monitoring organization.
In the end of the report, PCHR has made the following conclusions:
- Israeli practices impacted on the election campaigns of all candidates, in particular restrictions imposed by Israeli occupation forces on the freedom of movement impacted on the ability of candidates to move freely among electoral constituencies for campaigning.
- The election campaign took place quietly, violence among Palestinians was completely absent and it did not include any incident that could have damaged the essence and fairness of the campaign.
- The Central Election Commission should have specified places for the election campaign in accordance with article 56 of Law 13 of 1995 Related to the Elections, since assigning places for the election campaign could have ensured much order with regard to organizing campaigning activities in public places designed for assemblies, meetings and electoral marches.
- Even through the candidates adhered to the official beginning and end of the election campaign, PCHR observers recorded a number of violations by most candidates regarding organizing campaigning activities before and after the official period of the election campaign.
- PCHR noticed some violations of the election campaign, which indicated that the PNA was biased towards one of the candidates. PCHR believes that this attitude is relevant to the chronic problem of the lack of clear separation between the PNA and the Palestine National Liberation Movement (Fatah), and the interrelation with the post of President of Palestine Liberation Organization. This problem requires serious and essential treatment and the elected president of the PNA should make it a priority in the efforts of institutional reforms. Nevertheless, PCHR believes that such violations did not impact on the essence of the election campaign.
- The official media gave equal opportunities to the candidates in their campaigns, although PCHR recorded a number of violations in this regard.