Friday, December 02, 2005

Flawed elections in Palestine

LGF points to this article on the recent elections.

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party scrambled on Wednesday to salvage a primary election rocked by turmoil that has widened internal rifts ahead of a political battle with its Hamas rival.

A day after Abbas suspended voting in response to violence and fraud, Fatah's Central Committee decided to name a 24-member review board, chaired by the president, to finalize a list of the party's candidates for a parliamentary election on January 25.

"You cannot say that the elections were really democratic", Central Committee member Nabil Shaath said about the ballot in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. "There was a lot of fraud and cheating."

and Charles ends with:

Oh, say it ain't so, Nabil.

Now, I have to agree with that sentiment. At the same time isn't it a major step in the right direction that a Central Committee member is admitting to the fraud and cheating and refusing to honor the elections of those where fraud can be proven. Beyond the part Charles quoted, is this:

Shaath said the primary, Fatah's first, would resume on Friday, but only in areas where voting had yet to begin.

"The board will recognize the election of those elected fairly," said Abbas Zaki, another Central Committee member. "We will not recognize the results in areas where fraud took place."

So it ain't perfect yet but that sounds a lot better than the official positions during Arafat's phony elections. As usual, I don't know nothin' about the details on this one. If this is really a statement that we are going to recognize the elections where our guy won and not recognize the ones where our guy lost there is no progress. But on the face of it, this would seem to be significant progress.

As an aside, this is why I love the blogosphere. Charles was a good boy and linked to his source material so that I can read the whole thing and not just the part he quoted. I give you a pointer to his post and the original (of which I have only quoted half). I am quite sure as a regular reader of his blog that his whole point was to be sarcastic and not to make a serious point. He may or may not agree with my point, but he gave me the ammo to make it. A truly free and open medium, a thing of beauty.


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