- The Media Line - https://themedialine.org -

No Voter Apathy Seen in Palestinian Elections

Palestinians last went to the polls fifteen years ago when they elected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to a four-year term that he continues to fill. Several times, elections were discussed as part of reconciliation agreements between the West Bank-ruling Fatah and Gaza Strip-controlling Hamas factions, but each time the agreements were stillborn and Palestinians became disgusted with the seeming futileness of discussing elections when disunity rules both camps. But as plans are moving forward toward parliamentary and presidential elections, set for May and July respectively, an overwhelming 93% of the 2.8 million eligible voters have registered to participate in the election. In 2006, the apparent win by the Islamist Hamas was deemed to be unacceptable, setting up an armed takeover of the Gaza Strip by the Iranian-backed group a year later. Not surprisingly, a key question being asked by many going into the 2021 election is: “What happens if Hamas wins again?”