The ‘Jerusalem and Return’ coalition that joined
Fatah with the Palestinian People’s Party (former communist) won 16 of
the 31 student senate seats in Bethlehem University marking a clean
victory over the Hamas who won 10.  The PFLP won the remaining
five sweats.

As a result of the elections, held on Wednesday, the ‘Jerusalem and
Return’ coalition will alone occupy the 11 senate seats at they form
over 51% of the total seats.

Professor Emanuel Hassassian, Deputy Head of the University announced
the results Wednesday evening indicting that the coalition received 823
votes of 1878 eligible voters, whereas Hamas received 491 votes.

1653 students voted representing 87.7 percent of the eligible voters,
which is a high percentage in comparison with previous years.

Hassassin described the elections as democratic and honest and said that he is proud of the spirit of democracy in the campus.

The chair of the Student’s Senate, Hassan Faraj, dedicated this ‘victory’ to the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.

In a phone call from Ramallah, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
greeted the winners and said in his greeting, ‘Victory leads victory
and progress leads to progress until we achieve our rights of
Independent State and East Jerusalem as its capitol’.

In Birzeit University, Fatah also won 23 out of 51 seats whereas Hamas
won 22 in the elections that were held on Tuesday.  To be able to
form the Senate cabinet, Fatah needs to cooperate with either the PFLP
and Palestinian Democratic Initiative, who won 5 seats as a coalition,
and the Palestinian People’s Party who won 2 seats only.