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Posts tagged ‘Palestinian elections’

Palestine: The Road Ahead

On January 25, 2006, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip cast their votes for a new Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Hamas, which had not contested the previous PLC elections a decade earlier, was strongly tipped to do well.

The U.S. had spent $2 million to try and thwart a Hamas victory, a sum dwarfing the campaign coffers of other parties. The money funded “dozens of quick projects…to bolster the governing Fatah faction’s image with voters,” and focused on “constituencies where Hamas was doing well.”

It was money spent in vain. Hamas won 74 of 132 seats in the PLC, while Fatah, the long-dominant faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian National Authority (PA), secured just 45. The new parliament was inaugurated on February 18, 2006. Read more

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Sow a wind, reap a whirlwind

The Palestinian people have made their choice, and Hamas has completed a journey from first intifada newcomers to sitting in power in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Detailed analysis of what the election results will mean for internal Palestinian politics may be pre-emptive at such an early stage, but a few observations can be made about the nature of Hamas’ victory and the international response.

First of all, it is worth clarifying the factors behind Hamas’ success. On the most basic level, Hamas has proved itself adept at the kind of organisation and tactics that any party requires in an election campaign. Building on its established reputation, it campaigned on the issues most important to the electorate; reform, change, and resistance. Its candidates came from diverse backgrounds, even including the Christian community. Read more