ICHR calls for keeping the momentum of the elections, continuing efforts for national unity and respecting public rights and freedoms

1/5/2021

17/2021

 

ICHR calls for keeping the momentum of the elections, continuing efforts for national unity and respecting public rights and freedoms

The Independent Commission for Human Rights received with deep regret the decision to postpone the legislative elections that were supposed to take place on May 22 after they were in an advanced stage of preparations. The holding of elections was a long-awaited national demand and a constitutional entitlement, while the decrees calling for the elections came in the context of a national consensus that as welcomed by all as an entry point to end the division, restore legitimacy to Palestinian institutions, and resume the disrupted democratic life. Since the issuance of the decrees calling for elections, all forces, institutions and sectors of society have shown a high responsibility in responding to these decrees and removing any obstacles that may prevent elections. Massive political, youth and women’s participation and a high level of voter and candidacy registration demonstrated citizens’ interest to participate in decision-making, choosing their representatives, and seeking to change the current reality.

 

We, at the Independent Commission for Human Rights, affirm that the right to political participation is a constitutional right that cannot continue to be disrupted. Disrupting this right poses great risks to the stability of the Palestinian political system, civil peace, public rights and freedoms, the unity of Palestinian representation and to citizens ’ trust in the Palestinian institutions and their hope for a better future.

Whereas the Commission affirms that any general elections must include Jerusalem and that this matter is not subject to concession, as it and its residents are an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory, the Commission affirms the following:

1. Asking the international community to assume its role in exerting pressure on the occupying state not to impede the right of Jerusalemite citizens to participate in the electoral process in Jerusalem, as candidates, voters and in conducting electoral propaganda in accordance with Palestinian legislation.

2. Asking the President to set a new date for the elections and issue a presidential decree to that effect, and to intensify efforts to lobby for holding elections in all the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem.

3. Withdrawal of the presidential decree regarding the postponement of unions’ elections and the resumption of unions’ and local authorities’ elections.

4. Initiating a comprehensive national dialogue that includes factions, trade unions and civil society institutions regarding organizing elections, arranging the internal Palestinian situation, and strengthening national unity.

5. Continue efforts to strengthen national unity, respect for public rights and freedoms, and build on what has been recently accomplished in terms of releasing political detainees and those arrested against the backdrop of the division in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and to continue this approach.

6. Forming a national unity government with powers and a broad mandate in the field of addressing the files and issues resulting from the division and its consequences, especially with regard to salaries of employees in the Gaza Strip, unifying institutions, reviewing decree laws, addressing freedom issues and continuing efforts to prepare for the elections.

7. Reconsidering decree laws related to the judicial authority, withdrawing and canceling the decree law amending the Charitable Societies Law.

8. Respect the right of citizens to express their opinion in various peaceful ways and stop any prosecutions against opinion and expression.

The end