Around 400600 Palestinians will vote in the second stage of the local government elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in which 2519 candidates compete for 906 seats, Palestinian sources reported.

Around 400600 Palestinians will vote in the second stage of the local government elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in which 2519 candidates compete for 906 seats, Palestinian sources reported.

Results of the elections in 84 electorate circles will be official announced next Sunday.

There are 400 women among the candidates competing for the 906 seats, among which, 812 in the West Bank and 94 in Gaza Strip.

Thousands of local and international observers are distributed on to 320 voting centers.

In most the regions, the competition is between Fatah and Hamas, whereas in Bethlehem area, Fatah is facing three other strong factions, the PFLP, DFLP and The Palestinian People’s party, (formerly the communist party).

Additionally, there are internal conflicts in Fatah that resulted in many Fatah members running against the main Fatah list in the elections.

These elections are the first local government elections since 1976.  Israel did not allow elections in the past years.  The Palestinian Authority appointed temporary councils in the different cities and villages.

These elections come four months after the Presidential elections, and two months prior to the legislative elections, which Fatah is trying to delay, however, all the other factions and especially Hamas reject the delay.

The upcoming legislative elections, unlike the 1996 elections, will have more political parties involved.  In 1996, only Fatah and the Palestinian People’s Party and some independent candidates competed.  Most of the Legislative Council members were Fatah.

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