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Minutes of CEC meeting (1) 2012

 January 2, 2012-Ramallah

 

Proceedings of Meeting

 

  • The Secretary-General of the Commission, Dr. Rami Hamdullah, welcomed new Commissioners and thanked former ones for their distinctive accomplishments in the past years. Dr. Hamdullah also stressed CEC’s independent and neutral role as per the Law.
  • Dr. Hamdullah referred to the latest meeting with Mr. President Mahmoud Abbas and his keenness to provide all guarantees to maintain the independence of the Commission and enable it to carry out its mandate in Gaza in light of the latest re-formation decree and reconciliation agreement.
  • On his part, CEO Mr. Hisham Kuhail, discussed the logistical and technical requirements for the reopening of CEC offices in Gaza, including the renting of new premises, procurement of equipments and furniture and training of staff.
  • Commissioners stressed the importance of extending efforts with various stakeholders to reopen Gaza offices so as to conduct voter registration which hasn’t been conducted since 2007.
  • Other issues discussed were the arrangements made to visit Gaza offices by Commissioners and meeting with the President in Ramallah.

Minutes of CEC meeting (2) 2012

 January 18, 2012-Ramallah/Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

The CEC’s Chairman opened the session by welcoming attending commissioners. The meeting addressed the following:

  • Approval of minutes of previous meeting.
  • Gaza offices: the CEC Chairman explained that CEC offices are still closed despite a decision to re open them and coordination efforts with the Ministry of Interior in Gaza. Dr. Nassir referred to the letter addressed to Mr. Ismail Haniyeh and his recent phone conversation with Mr. Khalil Al-Hayeh on this regard. Dr. Nassir requested Commissioners in Gaza to coordinate with stakeholders to ensure implementation of the said decision to enable the CEC to operate in Gaza.
  • The Legal amendments to election law: the CEC Chairman explained the legal amendments that need to me made to election laws to conform with what has been agreed upon in the national reconciliation agreement, in particular those related to the allocation of seats to electoral districts and the number of PLC seats designated for Christians. Dr. Nassir explained that such amendments are necessary to the work of the Commission. It was agreed to submit an explanatory note to Mr. President on this regard.
  • The elections of the National Council: the CEC Chairman referred to the news circulated in the media with regards to assigning the CEC with overseeing the National Council elections. Dr. Nassir explained the need of having a law on the organization of such elections that clearly assigns this mandate to the Commission. It was agreed to submit an explanatory note to Mr. President on this regard.
  • The independence of the CEC: CEC Chairman presented the ‘acknowledgment of Commissioners’ to the concept of independence based on the election laws. After discussions, the acknowledgment was signed by all commissioners. The acknowledgment reads as follows:

‘’ Based on the general concept of the independence of the Commission stipulated in the law, and to affirm the said concept to citizens, we as CEC Commissioners, individually and collectively, hereby affirm our independence in accordance with the law and our work to achieve objectivity and transparency of elections for the sake of the highest national interest”.

  • Schedule of the voter registry update: the CEO reviewed the legal timeline and cost for updating the voter registry in the Gaza Strip and the needed budget for the refurbishment of Gaza regional and district offices.
  • CEC regular meetings: It was decided to hold CEC regular sessions every last Wednesday of each month at 1:30 hrs.  

MINUTES OF CEC MEETING (3)

February 22, 2012-Ramallah/Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

  • Approval of minutes of previous meeting
  • The Chairman’s visit to Gaza

 The Commissioners were briefed on the latest visit by CEC’s Chairman, Dr. Hanna Nasir to Gaza on 29th January 2012 which aimed at meeting with officials there and pushing forward CEC’s activities in light of the reconciliation agreement and the Presidential decree on the reconfirmation of the Commission issued on 22nd December 2011.

Dr. Nasir spoke of his meeting with Mr. Ismail Haniyeh which tackled the Commission’s plans and requirement for updating the voter registry in the Strip. Dr. Nasir also referred to the follow- up initiatives with several bodies following the visit and the response the CEC received to ‘’wait’’. Dr. Nasir also spoke of the CEC’s letter to Mr. Haniyeh following the visit urging him to consider allowing the Commission to operate in Gaza, and the second letter addressed on the same issue following Doha agreement. The Chairman indicated that the Commission is still waiting for a response to be able to resume its work in the strip according to plans.

 

MINUTES OF CEC MEETING (4) 2012

April 18, 2012

 

Place: Ramallah headquarters and Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

  • Approval of minutes of previous meeting
  • Latest updates on elections: CEC Chairman indicated that the CEC is still not permitted to update the voter registry in Gaza till this date and stressed the fact that voter registration is a periodic technical procedure and as such should not be viewed from a political perspective. The Chairman urged Gaza Commissioners to maintain contact with officials in Gaza to enable the Commission to conduct voter registration in the Strip to maintain full readiness to fulfill its mandate according to election laws. The Chairman also referred to his meeting with the Minister of Local Government who referred to the efforts being put by several bodies in the West Bank to push forward towards conducting local elections however, no decision is issued on this regard till date.
  • CEC recent projects: CEO discussed the activities within the project ‘’Support to the Elections Commission’’ funded by UNDP which include; building the capacities of core staff, training of political parties, local media, CSOs and branding of the Commission. CEO indicated that the first installment was designated to cover the costs of a training workshop for CEC staff in Gaza and Ramallah held in Amman as well as procurement of PCs for Gaza regional office. The Commissioners requested to be provided with a detailed description of the program components and to be informed of activities schedule to attend.
  • The financial situation: CEC Chairman indicated that the CEC hasn’t received any funds from the PA’s annual allocated budged which negatively affects the work of the Commission, despite correspondences and meeting with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on this regard. It should be indicated that CEC’s annual allocated budget is NIS 10 million.

Minutes of CEC meeting (5) 2012

June 24, 2012

 

Palce: Ramallah/Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

• Approval of minutes of previous meeting.

• Registry update: CEO presented the plan to update the voter registry in Gaza including the administrative and logistical preparations. CEO indicated that all activities are progressing according to set schedule and that 256 voter registration centers will be opened as of Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012.

• Request of the State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau (SAACB): The commissioners discussed a request by the (SAACB) to perform a control test on CEC. Upon reviewing the SAACB law and the organizations which will undergo the control test, the CEC decided to ask SAACB for the legal basis for such request.

• Threats: commissioners discussed the threats the CEC received prior to Commissioners visit to Gaza on 25 May 2012. It was decided to address a letter to Mr. President requesting a meeting with him to address the issue.

• Gaza staff annual salary increment: The CEC decided to reconsider a previous decision to freeze the annual salary increment for Gaza staff and dispense it only to staff members in Gaza regional and district offices in 2010.

 

Minutes of CEC meeting (6) 2012

July 14, 2012

 

Place: Ramallah/Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

• Approval of minutes of previous meeting.

• Local elections: Chairman Dr. Hanna Nasir discussed the recent Cabinet decision to hold local council elections on October 20, 2012, referring to the cancelled local elections of 2010 and subsequent decision by the supreme justice court considering the cabinet decision illegal. Dr. Nasir referred also to previous local elections which got postponed twice in order to allow for national reconciliation agreement. The Chairman also discussed the nature of services provided by local councils.

Dr. Nasir also talked about the difficulties faced by the Commission in implementing elections and hence the freedom which should be provided to ensure participation on all levels. Dr. Nasir also confirmed CEC’s willingness to work with concerned bodies to ensure freedom of nomination according to law.

A prolonged discussion following Dr. Nasir speech resulted in a decision to address concerned bodies in Gaza to enable the commission to resume its preparations for registry update. The Commissioners decided to meet on July 17 to discuss an action plan in light of the communication results.

 

Minutes of CEC meeting (7) 2012

17 July 2012

Place: CEC HQ/Gaza through video conference.

 

Commissioners reviewed the letter the CEC addressed to relevant bodies in the Gaza Strip requesting to allow the CEC to resume its work in updating the voter registry and preparing for local elections in the Strip. The CEC Chairman, Dr. Hanna Nasir, indicated that the CEC didn’t receive any response yet on this matter.

Dr. Nasir also referred to the meeting held with political parties’ representatives at CEC’s HQ indicating that all parties except for Hamas movement declared their agreement to the holing of local elections.

The Commissioners decided to address a letter to Prime Minister informing him of CEC’s inability to conduct local elections in the Strip and requesting a decision from the Cabinet on this regard.

 

Minutes of CEC meeting (8) 2012

August 28, 2012


Place: Ramallah/Gaza through video conference

Proceedings of Meeting:

Local election preparations

CEC Chairman discussed local election preparations referring to the end of phase one of the process, i.e. voter registration and the ongoing preparations for the second phase of nomination scheduled from 1-10th September. CEC Chairman discussed also the series of meetings with political parties, CSOs to ensure a smooth election progress in the 353 localities where local elections are to be held. The Chairman also referred to CSOs initiatives to ensure the freedom of participation in the upcoming elections.

CEC’s new premises

CEC Chairman discussed the draft concept paper by CEO with regards to the procurement of a piece of land to construct new headquarters for the Commission in Ramallah. A prolonged discussion of the issue resulted in entrusting CEC Chairman and Secretary General in contacting Mr. President and the Cabinet with regards to designating a piece of land for this purpose. Gaza Commissioners stressed the importance of designating another piece of land to the establishment of a new regional office in Gaza as well.

Minutes of CEC meeting (9) 2012

September 13, 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah


Proceedings of Meeting

The CEC confirmed that any nomination application for a candidate or list which doesn’t include all required information will lead to the application being entirely refused according to article 20 of local elections law no. 10 of 2005.

The CEC also decided that in the event of having a candidate name appearing in two lists; both lists will be entirely refused.

It was agreed to hold an urgent meeting on Friday, 14th September 2012 to discuss the lists which were technically refused to take a final decision on this regard.

Minutes of CEC meeting (10) 2012

September 14, 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah/ Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

The Commissioners discussed the incomplete nomination applications of the lists and decided to reject the nomination of 32 lists and notify lists representatives of the reasons behind CEC’s decision.

The CEC also decided to notify the successful lists and to publish the list of candidates for all localities on Sunday, 16th September 2012 according to published election timeline.

Minutes of CEC meeting (11) 2012

September 23, 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah-Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

The commissioners discussed the courts decisions with regards the challenges on the nomination applications which the CEC rejected due to not fulfilling the nomination requirements.

Despite the differences in courts decisions, the Commissioners agreed that the CEC is not entitled to discuss or refuse a judicial decision, however will implement these decisions out o respect for the judiciary system. The CEC abstains from being part of the existing arguments over courts decisions and urges everyone to abide by the provisions of law.

Minutes of CEC meeting (12) 2012

October 5, 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah-Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

The final list of candidates: The CEO presented a report on the final list of localities where elections will be held following the end of withdrawal period. The total number reached 94 localities with 321 competing lists.

Early voting for police: The CEC reached an agreement with the Ministry of Interior whereby 11 polling centers will be opened for the voting of security forces. 40% of police will be able to vote on 18th October 2012.

CEC staff who have relatives running for local elections: The CEC decided to give those staff a paid leave as from Saturday, 13th October until Saturday, 20th October 2012.

Complementary elections: The Commissioners approved the timeline for complementary elections to be held on 24th November 2012 according to the Cabinet’s decision.

Minutes of CEC meeting (13) 2012

October 9, 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah-Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

The CEC discussed the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice on elections in Dura and decided to immediately prepare a rejoinder to the court asking the court to convene urgently to reconsider its decision and to back this with a letter from the cabinet stating that no decision was issued on the postponement of elections in dura as mentioned in the merits of the courts decision.

The CEC also decided to convene on Thursday, 11th October 2012 at 2:00 PM to pursue the matter and take appropriate decision.

Minutes of CEC meeting (14) 2012

October 15, 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah-Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

The Commissioners discussed the implications of the decision of the Court of Justice rejecting CEC’s request to urgently convene to reconsider the court’s decision to stop elections in Dura for four weeks. Although the CEC considers the court decision to affect the credibility of elections, it is however obliged to implement such decision. In this context it was decided to:


1. Stop electoral activities in Dura and surrounding villages

2. Request lists representatives in Dura and surrounding villages to stop elections campaigning immediately.

3. Issue a press release explaining the Dura issue to the public and CEC’s stance on this regard.

Minutes of CEC meeting (15) 2012

October 20, 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah-Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

The Commissioners discussed nomination applications for complementary elections where 117 lists have applied 4 of which were rejected due to not fulfilling the nomination requirements.

Commissioners decided to accept the recommendation of the CEO to allow one list to complete its nomination application by bringing an quittance certificate until 9:00 am of Sunday, 21th October 2012. The list representative has notified the police that the list application was stolen from him after he was attacked by several people and he was not able to obtain an a quittance certificate due to the strike by the local governance staff. CEC Chairman and CEO were authorized to follow up the matter and take the appropriate decision.

It was decided to publish the list of candidates tomorrow.

Minutes of CEC meeting (16) 2012

October 21, 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah-Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

CEC Chairman explained that the electoral process went smoothly without major difficulties. The Commission received several complaints which had no effect on the results of elections.

Preliminary election results for the 93 localities were approved. The final results will be publish upon the completion of the appeals period according to law.

CEC Chairman referred to minutes of previous session with regards to the list whose nomination application was stolen explaining that the nomination application was eventually rejected because the list failed to fulfill the requirements accordingly.

Minutes of CEC meeting (17) 2012

November 13 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah-Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

The Commissioners discussed the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice in its session held on Monday, 12th November 2012, on the elections of Dura Local Council, the CEC Commissioners met today and decided to resume elections as per Cabinet’s decision on 10th July 2012 calling for local elections as follows:

- To keep the lists approved during the nomination period from 1st -11th September 2012.

- To allow the approved lists for Dura Local council to resume elections campaigning until Thursday, 22nd November 2012, in preparations for elections on 24th November 2012.

- To consider the list nominated for the local council of Deir Razah, Tarama, Al-shajnah and Khirbat Basm one list and therefore no elections will be held in such localities.

- To consider the list nominated for Kharsa local council a one list and therefore, no elections will be held in Kharsa.

 

The Commissioners have also decided to address the Cabinet to urge it to set a new date for complementary elections for the following local councils: Al-sora, Al-Yaseriya, Al-Majd, Beit al Rosh al Tahta, Deir al-Asal al-Tahta, Deir al –asal al- foqa, Hadb al-Fawar, Karma, Tawas, Saka, Al-Borj, Abo al- asja, abo al- ghizlan, amresh, Abda, Al-Alaqa al-Tahta, Al-Alaqal al-Foqa.

The Commissioners assigned CEO to procure a piece of land and prepare a feasibility study to be approved later once fund is available.

Minutes of CEC meeting (18) 2012

December 13, 2012-CEC HQ in Ramallah/Gaza through video conference

 

Proceedings of Meeting

  • The CEC discussed the Cabinet decision to hold complementary local elections on 22 December 2012 and decided to implement the provisions of the decision to enable citizens to participate in local council elections in the remaining localities. Moreover, the Commissioners assigned the CEC Chairman to address the Cabinet expressing CEC’s dissatisfaction with the decision to exclude Dura and the surrounding villages from elections.
  • The CEC agreed to procure two plots of land offered to the Commission based on recommendations of the committee in charge of following up on this matter.
  • CEO discussed the advocacy fees payable to lawyers who pleaded for the Commission during the challenges phase during the local elections held on 20 October 2012. The CEC requested Mr. Shukri Nashashibi to estimate the due costs in preparation to be discussed with the lawyers to reach a final agreement.
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