The Elections and the Municipal and Village Councils in the Era of the Palestinian Authority 1994 - 2000

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Abul-Sattar Qasim
Ali Mohammed Shati Nabhan
This research paper conducted a historical and legal review for the municipal and village councils in Palestine. IN addition, it defined the terms of the municipal and village councils, and distinguished between both patterns of local administration and local government as well as the basic requirements which enable such councils to conduct this role and the related duties. Also, this study gave prominence to the reasons which prompted the Palestinian Authority to adopt an appointment policy instead of elections. The Palestinian Authority hinged its reasons of not holding elections for the municipal and village councils on the Israeli occupation, non-completion of withdrawals, and the stalemate in the political process. The real reasons behind such a behavior were set out in a memorandum put forward by the former head of the preventive security forces in Gaza. The authority feared of the possible sweeping victory of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the elections of these councils. Such victory would provide legitimacy for Hamas to replace the official Palestinian Authority in the representation of the Palestinian people. What came in this memorandum was substantiated by interviewing many people representing many Palestinian political spectrum; the persons interviewed are listed within this study with their whole names. The policy of appointment resulted in the failure of many municipal and village councils which were unable to carry out their duties. Many of them came to a point of financial bankruptcy; a thing which made the elections a matter of urgent necessity in view of the benefits to be gained by the Palestinian people. Above all these benefits is giving the Palestinian people the opportunity to take part in the political life.
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