728 candidates competing for the 132 seats of the Palestinian Parliament’s upcoming elections started on Tuesday morning their electoral campaigns in the different parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Banners posters filled the walls in all the Palestinian cities and villages. The different lists and coalitions organized mass rallies today to announce their electoral program.
According to the election system set by the Central Election Commission Monday was the last day for candidate’s registration and withdrawal.
The mixed electoral system combines the majority system (districts) and the system of proportional representation (lists). The law divides the 132 seats of the, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) equally between the majority system (66 seats) and the system of proportional representation (66 seats).
Based on the majority system, Palestine is divided into 16 electoral districts (11 in the West Bank, including Jerusalem and 5 in the Gaza Strip). Each district is allocated a number of seats in the parliament according to population numbers. In the system of proportional representation, Palestine is considered as one electoral district.
In accordance with the law, each electoral list must include a minimum of 7 candidates and a maximum of 66 candidates. Each list must include at least one woman in the first three names, at least one woman in the next four names and at least one woman in each of the five names that follow in the list.
414 candidates compete for the 66 seats designated for the 16 electoral districts whereas 314 candidates in 11 lists are running for the other 66 seats designated for the lists.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that all Palestinian faction agreed that there will be no vote on January 25 if Israel bars Palestinians in Jerusalem to vote.
"We are all in agreement that Jerusalem has to be included in the election," Abbas said "And if it is not included, all the factions agree that there will be no elections."
Abbas has been under pressure for the unstable Fatah to delay the election, however he insisted in the past to hold elections as scheduled. Hamas, on the other hand, demanded Abbas not to delay the vote and said "Jerusalem issue is no excuse."