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The Electoral System Set Forth by Elections Law No. (13) of 1995

This law adopted the simple majority system (districts). Based on this law, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were divided into 16 electoral districts from which 88 PLC members were elected.

 

According to the simple majority system, the voter chooses a number of candidates equal to or less than the number of seats allocated to the district. The winning candidates are those who obtains the highest numbers of valid votes.

 

A number of seats are designated for Christians, allocated by presidential decree as follows: 

    Jerusalem district: two seats 

    Ramallah district: one seat 

    Bethlehem district: two seats 

    Gaza district: one seat 

    Nablus district: one seat for Samaritans

 

The 1996 Palestinian general elections were held in accordance with this law.

 

The Electoral System Set Forth by Elections Law No. (9) of 2005

On 18 June 2005, the PLC approved Elections Law No. (9) of 2005 pertaining to general elections. This law adopted a mixed system of voting, which combines both the simple majority system (districts) and the proportional representation system (lists). Under this law, 66 of the 132 total PLC members are elected based on the proportional representation system (lists), and the remaining 66 are elected by simple majority (districts).

 

1. The Simple Majority System (Districts)

Elections Law No. (9) of 2005 stipulates that 66 PLC members are to be elected by simple majority. Electoral districts are assigned a number of seats based on the district’s population, with each district guaranteed at least one seat.


On 15 September 2005, the president issued a decree specifying the number of seats designated to each of the sixteen electoral districts under the simple majority system (districts). It also allocated a number of seats for Christians, as follows:

 

Electoral District

Total No. of seats

No. of seats designated for Christians

Jerusalem

6

2

Jenin

4

-

Tulkarem

3

-

Tubas

1

-

Nablus

6

-

Qalqilya

2

-

Salfit

1

-

Ramallah& Al- Bireh

5

1

Jericho

1

-

Bethlehem

4

2

Hebron

9

-

North Gaza

5

-

Gaza

8

1

Deir Al- Balah

3

-

Khan Younis

5

-

Rafah

3

-

Total

66

6

 

Candidates running for office according to the simple majority system compete individually in their own districts. The candidates’ names appear on the ballot paper, and each voter chooses a number of candidates equal to or less than the number of seats allocated to that district. The winning candidates are those who obtain the highest numbers of votes. In the event that two or more candidates obtain the same number of votes for the last or only seat in their district; run-off elections are held within ten days. This rule also applies to the seats allotted for Christians where the six seats represent the minimum representation of Christians in the council.

 

2. Proportional Representation System (Lists)

According to Elections Law No. (9) of 2005, 66 PLC members are to be elected based on the proportional representation system. Nomination is carried out nationwide by closed lists. The names of the electoral lists appear on the ballot paper, but the names of the candidates do not. The voter chooses only one list.

 

The names of candidates on a list are sequentially ordered according to priority. Any list should be composed of at least 7 and at most 66 candidates, and must include at least one woman in the first three positions, another woman in the next four positions, and at least one woman among each subsequent five positions on that list.

 

Seats are distributed following the Sainte-Laguë method. Any list which passes the threshold (2%) is allocated a number of seats based on the number of the votes obtained. The candidates of winning lists are seated in their sequential order.

 

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