In light of the decision by the Palestinian Higher Commission for Local Elections, hereinafter the Commission, to postpone the announcement of the results of the second phase of the local elections, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights conveyed a letter to the Commission requesting immediate announcement of the results in compliance with the law.
The second phase of elections which took place on 5 May 2005 in 84 towns and villages around the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
The Commission decided to postpone the announcement of the results for 48 hours starting from today, 8 May 2005, in breach of Article 29 of the Law # 5/2004, which is an amendment of Article 47 in the Local Agencies Elections Law # 5/1996.
Article 29 in the amendment states that: “[t]he President of the Central Election Commission (The law authorizes the High Commission for Local Elections to run the elections for one year before it is merged in the Central Election Commission, and hence is the change of the name of the Commission in this article) announces the names of the winners of the local councils’ seats within 48 hours after the end of the counting of votes…” (Unofficial translation of the original text by the Center), In addition, according to Article 42 of the Local Agencies Elections Law # 5/1996, the counting of votes starts one hour after the closing of the polling stations and must end within 12 hours in presence of the observers and candidates agents.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights highlights that the postponement of the announcement of the elections results is a direct breach of the law and an infringement of its stated deadlines and procedures which are meant to ensure free and integral elections.
As such, the Center calls on the Commission, which is in direct charge of the organization, supervision and regulation of the local elections under the law, to immediately announce the names of all the winners.