Central Elections Commission announced that voting commenced on Saturday, for the Second Phase of the Local elections, in 50 localities all over the West Bank. Polling centers opened for voters at 7:00 am as scheduled and will operate until 7:00 pm.
In a press conference held at the CEC’s headquarters in al Bireh; CEC Chairman Dr. Hanna Nasir called on citizens to vote in the electoral process, emphasizing that all necessary arrangements and preparations were made to facilitate the arrival of voters, especially older voters and those with disabilities, to polling centers. Indicating that, adopting protective health protocols ensures the protection of all partners of the electoral process from Covid-19.
Dr. Nasir indicated that opening the doors of the polling center in Jaba’, in the district of Jerusalem, was postponed for two hours for technical reasons. Although, an extension to the opening hours will be added in the evening to compensate for the closure in the morning. He also announced the extension of voting for one hour at the Jamal Abdel Nasir Secondary Girls School polling center in the city of Nablus, to enable Palestinian Samaritans to cast their votes.
CEC chairman encouraged political parties and factions, electoral lists, and all other partners to adhere by the conditions that ensure the efficient progress of the electoral process. All under set CEC procedures, and based on provisions and laws. While expressing his sorrow, that the CEC could not hold the elections in the Gaza Strip. Hoping it will be able to do so as soon as possible. He also renewed his condemnation of the occupation’s arrest and detainment of a number of candidates. Considering that to be an interference in the electoral process. Thus demanding their immediate release.
Dr. Nasir indicated that the number of eligible voters is 715,413 who can vote in 315 polling centers, which have 1203 ballot boxes. While the number of polling staff in these centers exceeds 6,700 employees.
He also clarified that 234 electoral lists were nominated in 50 localities, and they include 2,306 candidates. Of whom 27% are women, and are competing for 632 seats.
Dr. Nasir indicated as well, that the counting process will happen with the presence of more than 2,600 local observers, 300 international observers and more than 5300 agents of electoral lists, as polling centers close today at 7 pm to mark the start of the counting process at the same centers. To conclude, polling centers will announce the number of votes that each electoral list obtained immediately after the counting process finishes.
It is worthy of mentioning, that polling will take place in 50 localities, while there are 23 other localities where only 1 complete electoral list was nominated in each, and they will be declared winners by acclamation during the announcement of election results. Furthermore, in 29 other localities, not a single complete electoral list was nominated, and the Palestinian cabinet will decide on the state of their local councils.