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Date posted: March 28, 2018
By MIFTAH

MIFTAH completed a training workshop on March 21 on local and popular union elections in the PLO, with participation from dozens of university students and student council representatives.

Central Elections Committee members Farid Tumallah and Mohammed Abu Ara gave comprehensive presentations on the preparatory stages of the elections, electoral laws and regulations, monitoring over general elections and ways to improve them. This was followed by discussions and presentations among participants and the trainers in which several questions were posed on issues pertaining to general elections and local council elections since the PA’s inception until today. Other questions revolved around the CEC’s role in preparing for and monitoring the election process in all areas where voting took place.

Furthermore, PLC member representing Jerusalem, Jihad Abu Zneid, presented on popular unions and the preparatory stages for their elections, how they are held and the relationship of these unions with the PNC and PLO Executive Committee.

Abu Zneid presented the student experience in the 80s to students and their council representatives and the pioneer role adopted by the student movement in reviving the national and popular condition of the Palestinian struggle. She called on participants to take inspiration from this experience and learn from its lessons for this stage, telling them that the student movement had a key responsibility in the building process and that they should take advantage of this to reach influential and decision-making positions within their different factions and parties.

Abu Zneid also conveyed the experience of the legislature, stressing on the importance of working towards holding general elections and renewing the legitimacy of the existing institutions, first and foremost the PLO. She stressed on the importance of pumping new blood into these institutions, also calling on the various factions to bridge the gap and build trust between them and their members.

The presentations focused on the importance of continued efforts to reactivate popular unions, especially the General Union of Palestine Students [GUPS] since it is considered the platform for youth within the PLO and the legitimate channel to ensure youth representation at the various decision-making levels within it. The presenters said the revitalization of this body was the real step that would reflect a serious political will by Palestinian factions and parties on fulfilling their commitments towards Palestinian youths.

MIFTAH project manager Hassan Mahareeq said the training workshop was part of MIFTAH’s efforts to promote the active participation of all components of Palestinian society, women and youth in particular. It also coincides with the organization’s strategy which focuses on promoting good governance in Palestine through empowering women and youth leaders capable of assuming positions of responsibility at the various decision-making levels in a bid to create change and impact at the local and national levels. Mahareeq continued that the training was also within the context of the interventions MIFTAH conducts via its project “Promoting national efforts towards just representation for women and youth at decision-making levels within the Palestinian political system, especially the PLO.” This project is implemented by MIFTAH in partnership with EuroMed Women, aimed at developing public policies in this direction.

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