In today’s meeting, Chairman Dr. Hanna Nasir, Secretary General Dr. Rami al-Hamdullah and Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Ammar Dwaik, met with the CEC commissioners in Ramallah and Gaza through video conference to arrange preparations for the upcoming elections, process the applications for nomination and to discuss the early voting procedures for security forces which were ratified by the legislative council.
While processing the applications for nomination, the CEC verified that all legal conditions had been met. Legal papers were requested for just one application. CEC commissioners also discussed early voting procedures for the security forces. Yesterday, the Legislative Council ratified, in the first and second readings, an amendment to Article 73 of the elections law, which allows security forces to cast their votes 48 hours before polling day. The CEC requested that the Ministry of Interior provide it with a list of the security forces so that their names can be transferred from the ordinary registers into special registers assigned for the security forces.
The CEC established general polling procedures for the security forces and is now discussing the voting specifications. Security forces will be subject to the same legal obligations which will be in place on election day - January 25, 2006 - and their votes shall be counted on that day.
It was decided that all CEC offices will be operational until midnight on December 14, 2005, which is the final day for the submission of applications for nomination.