Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi launched a two-day session of the Palestinian national dialogue. With the participation of 14 Palestinian factions to launch several understandings that will establish a new phase in the history of Palestine.

How was the dialogue?

A positive atmosphere prevailed in the Palestinian National Dialogue which was held under Egyptian sponsorship in Cairo. After reaching binding agreements which promote national reconciliation.

At a time when the executive director of the Central Election Commission, Hisham Kahil announced the start of voter registration work in the West Bank and Gaza.

The agreement was the master of the scene. While assuring the commitment to reconciliation, sticking to the elections and adherence to the timetable set by the presidential decree.

The factions issued a statement, after the meetings, in which they ensured the commitment to the agreements. The most important of which is the document of the National Accord, and the outcomes of the meeting of the general secretaries of the factions in September 2020.

The Palestinian elections

The factions stated that all agreed to hold the Palestinian elections based on what was agreed in follow-up. They held a meeting in March with the Central Election Commission and the National Council to agree on the foundations and mechanisms through which the formation of the National Council will be completed. In order to activate and develop the Liberation Organization.

They also agreed to abide by the timetable set out in the decree for the legislative and presidential elections, to confirm that they will be held in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza without exception, and to commit to respect and accept their results.

The factions stated that the establishment of the court of election cases by consensus of judges in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem is responsible for monitoring everything related to the electoral process and the president issues a decree to form it and clarify its functions.

The factions also discussed the Constitutional Court and the electoral courts, as well as the security supervision of the election funds.

Preparation for the general elections

The CEC delegation arrives in Gaza Strip via the Beit Hanoun. Crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip from Ramallah to meet with representatives of factions and civil society organizations. “To launch the voter registration process,” CEC spokesman Farid said in a statement to reporters.

He added that the delegation will meet with representatives of national factions and civil society organizations. Besides, learning about the preparations of the committee’s regional office in Gaza for the first stages of the electoral process.

How will be the voting?

Farid explained that the voting will be electronic due to the coronavirus pandemic through the dedicated website. And it can be manual for citizens who are not able to use modern technologies. The number of polling stations in the Gaza Strip will range between 20 and 30 stations. Also, it will be open on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Legislative elections, the first in 15 years, are expected to be held on the 22nd of May. Followed by presidential and National Assembly elections.

Release of detainees

The participants also agreed to:

  1. Release public and political freedoms.
  2. The immediate release of all those arrested with a political background.
  3. Stop prosecuting those backgrounds.
  4. Guarantee the right of factions to operate in the West Bank and Gaza.

All agreed that only the Palestinian police in the West Bank and Gaza will secure election headquarters and have a presence in accordance with the law.

The participants ensured that the security services in the West Bank and Gaza should ensure that they do not interfere in the elections or electoral propaganda of any party. While providing equal opportunities in the official media without discrimination to all electoral lists.

Requests for the president

The participants recommended that the Palestinian president reconsider the following points:

The electoral law, the reduction of registration fees, insurance, resignation requests, the participation rate of women, and the lowering of the age of candidacy.

The participants also decided to make a recommendation to the new legislature to address the file of deputies detained in Israel.