Friday, May 06, 2005
Election results
posted by: salam max at 10:22 PM
The post I put up about the local elections said the results were too close to call on that day, and the counting went on very late into the night.

The general picture that emerged is that the Left won in Beit Sahour and Beit Jala, while Fatah, the PFLP and Hamas are sharing power in Bethlehem municipality.

I had heard of some foul play at the Bethlehem polling stations, related to the two registers that people were using, and some parties trying to get extra people on the lists to vote. But no mention of that in the press so far, and I don't know how it was resolved.

According to Haaretz:

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) appeared to have won in the Christian towns of Beit Sahur and Beit Jala, exit polls show. In Bethlehem, Hamas won six of seven council seats allocated to Muslims, while Fatah and the PFLP will share the eight seats allocated to Christians.

Although Shakaki's polls are considered to be reliable, the sample includes only 14 authorities, and therefore, it is difficult to reach clear conclusions prior to the official announcement of results Sunday. However, unofficial results reported by external observers confirmed the exit polls.

Full article hear.

More from Beit Sahour in the Irish Examiner:

The municipal campaigns were largely waged over local issues, such as clean government and better services, and analysts said clan loyalties also influence voting. However, the voting also comes at a time of growing disappointment with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas; his main achievement a truce with Israel is showing signs of unravelling and he has few achievements to present to voters.

Elias Rishmawi, a leading council candidate in the village of Beit Sahour, just outside Bethlehem, said any decent showing by Hamas is a result of Fatah mismanagement and corruption.

He said Mr Abbas has failed to forge an alliance to oppose Hamas and "emphasise the democratic, secular face of the Palestinian Authority."

"This would be the only solution to minimise the effect of Hamas," said Mr Rishmawi, who is heading a list of the opposition party Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

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