On Monday, 18 July 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR) received Prikko-Liisa Kystila, Ambassador at the Representative Office of Finland to the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Nida Dalmantaite, Representative of Lithuania to the PA. They were accompanied by Jarkko Toivonen, Senior Police Adviser Intelligence-led Policing in the European Co-ordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support.
Jaber Wishah, PCHR’s Deputy Director for Branches’ Affairs, received the delegation and reviewed the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The discussion was about the ability to hold the local council elections, which are scheduled in next October according to the decision of the Council of Ministers in the Palestinian Unity Government that was issued on 03 May 2016 and welcomed by Hamas Movement.
The meeting reviewed PCHR’s position towards the importance of holding local council elections periodically, taking in consideration it is a constitutional and basic right, a form of good governance and respect for human rights and basic freedoms.
The meeting also addressed PCHR’s great experience in observing the electoral process in 1996, Presidential elections in 2005, legislative elections in 2006, and the previous local council elections.
Weshah displayed the thematic conditions that PCHR believes they should be available for holding the elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in order to achieve the ultimate aim of holding them, i.e. electing representatives of the popular will, to guarantee offering public services with the highest levels of efficiency, transparency and professionalism.
PCHR believes the success of the local elections is a foundation for holding the legislative and presidential elections that will put an end to the ongoing split.
Weshah called upon the international community to be committed to any results of any Palestinian coming elections whether the local or political elections as long as they are held impartially, freely and under local and international observation. He added that this will promote the principles of democracy based mainly on elections.
The delegation was interested in PCHR’s position and promised to convey that position to the decision makers in their countries and the European Union.