Voter registration starts in Gaza, West Bank



Associated Press

Published — Tuesday 12 February 2013

Last update 12 February 2013 4:01 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

GAZA CITY: Palestinian electoral officials yesterday began the long-overdue process of updating voter rolls in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in a key step toward eventual elections, officials said.
“The registration of voters is now beginning in the West Bank and Gaza. We hope accomplishing it will be the first step to ending the division,” said Central Elections Commission chief Hanna Nasser in announcing the start of the week-long operation at a news conference in Gaza City.
Voter registration has been delayed for years due to a long-running dispute between the Hamas rulers of Gaza and its Fatah rival which dominates the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.
It is a key part of preparations for legislative and presidential elections called for under terms of a reconciliation deal signed in 2011 but which has never been implemented. The process is likely to involve registering some 350,000 Gazans as eligible to vote, many of them for the first time.
The week-long registration drive will involve 581 people who will register voter details at 256 schools across the Gaza Strip based upon lists provided by the interior ministry. Updating the electoral register in Gaza, where voter details have not been updated since the last elections in 2006, removes a major stumbling block blocking reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. The procedure had been due to begin last year but the CEC’s work was “temporarily” halted by Hamas as reconciliation efforts ran aground. The CEC reopened its Gaza offices in January 2012 but could not begin work on updating the voter lists without Hamas’s permission, which it subsequently received in May.
Election officials began recruiting employees and had been due to start registering individual voters when the process was suddenly halted in July by Hamas, which argued that various “obstacles” needed to be resolved before the CEC could continue its work.
Yesterday’s breakthrough came about after Hamas and Fatah made a fresh attempt to implement the 2011 reconciliation deal that called for establishing an interim government of independents that would oversee preparations for legislative and presidential elections, including the updating of voter rolls in Gaza.
Over the weekend, Palestinian factions held two days of marathon reconciliation talks in Cairo which ended with a commitment to begin consultations over the formation of an interim government — another issue which has bogged down reconciliation efforts.

 

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman prays inside the historic Quba Mosque in Madinah. The king was accompanied by Prince Muqrin, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques and Prince Sultan bin Salman, ch...
JEDDAH: Shop rentals at certain malls have risen by 200 percent, with this cost likely to be passed on to the consumer, the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) said here recently. Muhammad Al-Shehri, chairman of the JCCI’s textiles and gar...
JEDDAH: People with special needs can now visit a park that has dedicated services for them.Jeddah Mayor Hani Abu Ras opened Al-Erada Park in Al-Salama district on Prince Sultan Street on Thursday.“The Kingdom provides special care for people with di...
JEDDAH: Is involvement in social media the right thing or wrong, particularly in the month of Ramadan? There is a difference of opinion with some arguing that it eats into the time that should be spent praying while some backing it for its religious...
RIYADH: The Argentine government has thanked the Kingdom for previously hosting its Umrah pilgrims for free.“They were part of a group invited by then Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” said Ambassador Jaime Sergio Cerda on Thursday.“T...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education’s counseling department has approved the Rifq Program for the physical and psychological well-being of students.Nabil Mohammad Al-Budair, director of counseling for boys, said the program aims to reduce violence in p...
RIYADH: Sales of fireworks at public markets and main roads in Riyadh have increased during Ramadan, despite the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announcing a SR5,000 reward for anyone providing information about warehouses storing these dangerous i...
RIYADH: The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) has reported that there were 69,241 work-related accidents in 2014, with expatriates making up 65,509 or 94.6 percent and Saudis 3,732.The accidents were in nine sectors with building and c...
JEDDAH: The Health Ministry’s expenditures over the past five years increased from SR29.29 billion to SR53.73 billion, an increase of about 83 percent.According to a study detailing the ministry’s expenditures between 2008 and 2012 issued by the mini...
RIYADH: Five people from the southern Indian state of Kerala were killed in a road accident at Salwa near Dammam in the Eastern Province early Thursday morning.Manoj Kumar, community welfare attache at the Indian Embassy, told Arab News that the vict...
MAKKAH: The government has deployed eight helicopters over Makkah to track the movement of vehicles and people, and assist in security tasks and medical evacuations.Maj. Gen. Mohammad Al-Harbi, commander of the Interior Ministry’s aviation security d...
JAZAN: A Yemeni woman (A.M.) has once again experienced freedom and a renewed sense of hope in life after reuniting with her family last week on her release from Jazan General Prison, where she spent six years on charges of murder of a citizen in the...
RIYADH: A delegation from the Kingdom recently visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to explore that country’s successful experience in tourism, in a bid to further develop the sector. Saudi Arabia has been making all-out efforts to promote tourism,...
RIYADH: The Justice Ministry has appointed 1,145 candidates for jobs in the judiciary and urged them to complete the requirements for their final appointment. The candidates in the sixth and fourth ranks are requested to fulfill employment prerequisi...
JEDDAH: Four thousand Djibouti workers are expected to arrive in the Kingdom over the next few months following the labor pact signed between the two countries last month.Speaking to a local publication recently, Djibouti Ambassador Diaa Eddin Saeed...

Stay Connected

Facebook