Palestinian political circles have warned that the continuation of the Abbas and Hamas in controlling Palestinian official institutions because that means the keep separating Gaza and the West Bank, large number of Palestinians hoping the rise of the reformist movement in Fatah led by Muhammad Dahalan to break this duality, especially since the movement has a strong and influential presence in Gaza and the West Bank.
Also announcing two dates for legislative and presidential elections without broader national coordination could lead to reproduction the current “legitimacy”, which led to fights and internal divisions, marginalizing the Palestinian file externally, it is the “legitimacy” that Hamas leads in Gaza, and President Mahmoud Abbas In the west bank.
The President of the Palestinian Authority issued On Friday a decision to hold legislative and presidential elections on May 22 and July 31, respectively.
Palestinian Presidency Office said: “President (Abbas) directed the election commission and all state agencies to start launching a democratic election campaign in all governorates of the country,” referring to “ West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
The growing strength of the democratic reform movement within Fatah is one of the most important reasons for avoiding elections by Abbas, which shows Palestinian President’s certain concern about the rise of this movement and his leadership, especially after Dahlan Movement’s negotiations with Hamas leadership in Gaza.
Abbas’s concern about the presidential elections has gone, and he insisted on the succession of the electoral process, starting with the legislative, and delaying the presidency in order to provide for himself the time to circumvent the results, if it did not come at his side which would threaten his position and his supporters in the presidential elections.
The movement led by Muhammad Dahlan welcomed the decrees on election dates, but warned of the repercussions of previous decrees issued before setting election dates, especially those related to the judiciary. The movement considered, in a statement, that these decrees “represent a flagrant assault on the independence of the judiciary and its readiness to guarantee justice for all,” referring to the decisions and measures that were taken in mid-2017 against the symbols and members of the movement, and urged the issuance of decrees that “restore the right to their owners.”
The statement called for a serious stand by “the general secretaries of the factions, who will meet soon in Cairo, in order to ensure that these decisions will not affect the conduct of the electoral process or the attempt of some to rob the voters opinions through judicial decisions.”
The statement stressed on the unity of Fatah movement, and to run in the elections in one list, in which it is neither marginalized nor excluded, and freely choose whoever represents them on the movement’s lists.
Ayman al-Raqb, a leader in the Democratic Reform Movement, explained that there is a strong need in the movement to reach a consensus within the Fatah movement and participate in the elections on one list, select candidates through internal elections after reaching a comprehensive understanding among the movement leaders, in case the elections didn’t go right; the list will choices will be based on competence and professionalism.
The movement formed field working groups two years ago, and intends to activate them again if it fails to reach consensus in Fatah movement, and focus on cooperation, coordination with youth groups that represent approximately 50 percent of the electorate.
He added, ” Abbas has remained in his position for four consecutive electoral rounds, and it is necessary to allow a new leadership to lead the Palestinian cause, in order to ensure the unity of the movement”.
The Palestinian writer and political analyst Muhammed Abu Mahadi said, “The solution of the Palestinian crisis, internally, the region and the world, is Fatah’s strong man, Muhammad Dahlan”.
Abu Mahadi added, both Hamas and the President Mahmoud Abbas, are aware of the political weight of this man, indicating the importance of investing in his capabilities if “the intentions are true.”
Abu Mahadi pointed that after years of economic and political injustice practiced by both sides of the division, the elections will be the word of the people, calling for democracy and to stop any attempts to block the way to candidacy and election opportunities.
He also called on all parties, civil organizations and observers to protect the democratic process so that elections do not be used as a new way of injustice.
Talks will be held between the Palestinian factions in Cairo to coordinate the ways of holding the elections to ensure the participation of all various forces so the results can be acceptable to all and facilitate, to be a suitable entry point for the resumption of negotiations with Israel, and to support the direction of US President Joe Biden towards the two-state solution.
Cairo sees the Palestinian elections as an opportunity to renew political legitimacy, regardless of who wins, and hopes that there will be fair representation in Gaza that reflects the Palestinian justice.
The Egyptian government will not find it difficult to reach an agreement with Hamas again if its supporters re-elected with a majority and the Palestinian government is formed, especially after the movement’s leaderships responded to many security demands on the issue of preventing the smuggling of weapons and people to Sinai.
An Egyptian expert on Palestinian affairs, Tariq Fahmy, said that Cairo’s role is limited on monitoring all the elections stages, that leads to calme the situation in Gaza, without supporting any specific party, stressed that the elections should be integrated in its three stages, to rearrange the conditions of the Palestinian situation.
Fahmy added that the competition will be limited between Fatah and Hamas, Cairo will not support a specific candidate or movement, confirms that it stands at the same distance from all forces, which makes it eligible to host the Palestinian national dialogue in the coming days.
Hamas welcomed the announcement of the election date. “We have worked over the past few months to overcome all obstacles to reach this day,”
Added “The movement calling for fair elections “in which the voter can express his needs without pressure or restrictions and with all fairness and transparency.”
The Palestinian People’s Party affirmed its rejection of any violation to the Judicial Authority Law No. (1) of 2002 in the absence of a state of necessity that requires this amendment according to Article (43) of the Basic Law.
In a press statement, the party also asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to cancel the “Decree-Law” amending the Judicial Authority Law, published Monday 11/1/2021, affirming there rejection of all decisions affecting the independence of the judiciary, stressing that reform of the judiciary cannot be achieved by reducing and containing the judiciary and weakening its independence.
The party stressed the same issues reported by the independent commission and other legal institutions, calling on Abbas to cancel this “decision by law” and other decisions that affect the independence of the judiciary.