Today a group of masked men stormed the CEC offices in Deir al-Balah and north Gaza. They identified themselves as belonging to al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and demanded the closure of the offices in protest of the so-called "policy of assignment" that has been adopted by Fatah to select its candidates for the legislative elections.
The CEC confirms its independence and reiterates that it is not affiliated to any political party or group. It also stresses the importance of not hindering the electoral and nomination processes. The CEC appeals to all concerned authorities to assist in the cessation of such attacks and demands that the security forces provide the necessary protection for all CEC offices and its employees. It also demands that the Palestinian political parties show greater responsibility and restrain from involving CEC staff members in their internal issues.
The CEC declares that the Deir al-Balah and north Gaza offices will be operational as usual and that it will continue to receive applications for candidate nomination until the end of the assigned period. The nomination period commenced on December 3 and it shall last until midnight on Wednesday, December 14, 2005.
In its preparations for the upcoming elections, the CEC declared earlier that it has set the procedures for the early voting of security forces, which shall commence 48 hours before the official polling day as stated in the amendment to Article 73 of the elections law.