Dr. Mohammad Al Ahmad, the Dean of Student Affairs in Bir Zeit University, near the central West bank city of Ramallah, stated that the Yasser Arafat Bloc of the Fateh movement garnered a majority in the student elections winning 29 seats out of 51. The Islamic Bloc said it refused to participate in the elections due to political arrests. The Palestine For Everybody Bloc of the National Struggle Front, garnered 4 seats, the Students Bloc of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, garnered 10 seats, the National Initiative garnered two seats, the National Front garnered two seats and the Leftist Coalition garnered 4 seats.
Al Ahmad stated that seven student blocks participated in the elections, and added that the polls were conducted in a positive and democratic manner under the presence of Ramallah governor, Dr. Leila Ghannam.
%50 of the students participated in the polls despite calls for boycotting them. Usually, %20-25 of the eligible students participate in the polls, which theoretically means that %25 of the eligible students boycotted the elections.
The âIndependence Blocâ of the Palestinian Democratic Union did not qualify for any seats as it only got 49 votes while a minimum of 63 votes are needed to guarantee a seat at the student council.
The Islamic Bloc (Hamas and other Islamic Movements) refrained from participating in the polls as it called on the students to boycott the elections âdue to continued political arrests conducted by the Fateh-led security forces in the West Bankâ.
In a press release, the Islamic Bloc claimed that %56 of the illegible students adhered to its calls and boycotted the election.
The total number of illegible students is 7374, while 3674 students participated in the polls and 419 of them handed empty papers to express their protest to what was described as forcing the Islamic Bloc out of the elections due to ongoing political arrests and harassment conducted by the Fateh-led security forces in the West Bank.