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Date posted: May 23, 2018
By MIFTAH

MIFTAH held a policy meeting on April 23 entitled, Proposed amendments to the electoral system to promote the participation of women and youth, which discussed the recommendations of a research paper prepared by MIFTAH on the available means of amending the electoral system in a way that would promote a democratic climate in Palestine. The session was held as part of MIFTAHs policy dialogue and good governance program and its project to promote the participation of women in public life, which the organization carries out with support from the Norwegian Representative Office.

The participants discussed the challenges facing the introduction of amendments to the electoral law in Palestine including the General Elections Law, the Local Councils Law, No. 10 of 2005 and the amendments to this law, No. 12 of 2012. The recent local council elections results of 2017, based on Central Election Committee (CEC) reports, showed that womens representation did not exceed 20%.

The participants concluded their discussion with a consensus to cancel the restriction imposed on the candidacy age for youth, making it 18 years, to call for equal representation of women in electoral lists, and to lower the threshold from 8% to 5%. They also agreed on the need for factions and civil society institutions to agree to the proposed amendments in addition to preparing a clear paper for womens demands and the problems they face in order for these demands to be put in the PNCs upcoming session.

On her part, MIFTAH project coordinator Hanan Said stressed in her opening remarks to the session on the need to seriously address the available means of amending the electoral system in Palestine that would promote a democratic climate and the peaceful transfer of power. She also said the subject of womens participation in elections must be discussed along with the experience of the quota system or positive discrimination in favor of women.

The session was attended by representatives from civil society institutions, womens groups and organizations, the CEC and the Ministry of Local Government. They confirmed the need to press towards presenting proposals for legal amendments to the electoral system that would constitute a true guarantee of the participation of women and youth in a fair and just manner.

Arabic ...

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