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Israeli government orders the closure of voter registration centers in Jerusalem

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Israeli Minister of Interior has issued an official order shutting down voter registration centers in Jerusalem and banning any activity by CEC staff anywhere in the city. The coordinator of the CEC Jerusalem district office, Mr. Ziad Bakri, was also called in by Israeli police, presented with the written order and requested to deliver it to the CEC. Mr. Bakri was informed that this order constituted a final notification of the ban and that anyone violating it would be subject to arrest and trial.

Israeli authorities had on May 10th shut down two voter registration centers in Jerusalem, located at Bab Al-Magharbeh and Wadi Al Joz, and arrested and questioned CEC staff in the city.

The CEC's Chief Elections Officer, Mr. Ammar Dwaik, affirmed today that the order contravenes all existing elections related agreements with Israel and that voter registration operations in Jerusalem had taken place in the past. The order creates yet another obstacle to the Palestinian democratic process and is a disturbing sign of the intentions of the Israeli government towards the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections.

The CEC calls on all relevant parties to intervene and to press on Israel the importance of ceasing to create obstacles to the work of the CEC and its staff, especially in Jerusalem.

For further information:

Call the CEC Media office on: ++ (972) 22969700, email on [email protected] or visit our website on www.elections.ps

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