For Direct Elections to the PNC
The Civic Registration Drive is an important Palestinian national initiative launched in 2010.
Its purpose was to create a mechanism to register Palestinians around the world to vote for the Palestine National Council (PNC), the supreme legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). The outcome was an online voter registration mechanism, completed in 2013, which met international standards of data security, transfer and storage, and adhered to best practice in out-of-country voting procedures.
How Registration Works
Voter registration is a necessary part of any democratic process, and involves taking information from individual voters in order to place their names in a voter register, proving their eligibility to participate in elections. Voter registration is, therefore, key to political enfranchisement and it determines who is eligible to vote when elections take place. In many countries around the world, voter registration is also understood as an important moment in voter engagement, with civic associations and community organisations often conducting voter registration drives to expand awareness and voter enfranchisement.
Although this voter registration system is electronic, individuals do not register themselves on a website..
The Civitas Project
Between 2003 and 2006, a civic needs assessment was conducted amongst Palestinian communities in more than X number of countries. Amongst the many outcomes of the campaign was a clear demand from Palestinian exiled and refugee communities for elections to the Palestine National Council. You can read the full report of the project here: Click Here
Palestinian Prisoner’s Document Issued
June 2006: Palestinian Prisoner’s Document Issued
Palestinian political leaders within Israeli jails issue the ‘Palestinian Prisoner’s Document’ - a reconciliation document following the events of 2006 aimed at unifying Palestinians - which calls for elections to the Palestine National Council. https://ecf.org.il/issues/issue/226
Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gives official authorisation for the creation of a voter registration for elections to the Palestine National Council (PNC). [hyperlink to a picture of Abu Mazen’s letter]
National Reconciliation Agreements
Palestinian political parties respond to rising popular demands and demonstrations by signing reconciliation agreements in Doha (February 2012) and Cairo (May 2012) both of which affirm the need for PNC elections to be held later in the year.
The Facilitation Office for the Civic Registration Drive for Elections to the PNC begins outreach with Palestinian community organisations around the world. This involves a detailed social and political mapping of Palestinian communities, providing background information and working with Palestinian embassies to raise awareness of the registration drive.
This culminated in a Europe-wide training workshop and preparatory meeting in Berlin, and a smaller gathering amongst Palestinian political parties in Beirut.
Technical Workshops and Testing
A number of workshops are held with elections experts, software engineers, policymakers and officials from the Palestinian Central Elections Commission and the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) to finalise the voter registration mechanism.
Voter Registration Machine Completed
After months of technical work and preparations, the electronic voter registration machine is completed by Palestinian engineers, tested and approved for use.
Palestinian Parties and Independents Issue a National Call for Registration to the Palestinian National Council
Palestinian political parties from across the spectrum, independents, academics, and public figures issue a public call inviting Palestinians around the world to participate in the upcoming voter registration drive, with the National Call published in Palestinian newspapers Al Ayyam and Al Quds [hyperlink to a picture of the national call in the newspapers].
Registration Pilot amongst Palestinians in Syria
Registration Pilot amongst Palestinians in Syria
Palestinians in Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria choose to be the first to register to vote to the Palestinian National Council, despite the dire circumstances in the camp at the time. They run a successful pilot that confirms the robustness of the registration system and its preparedness for use in Palestinian communities globally.
The pilot is covered in key Palestinian newspapers (Al Ayyam, Al Quds and others), as well as television stations Palestine TV and Palestine Today.
Registration Work in Paused
The Facilitation Office are instructed, without explanation, to pause their work.
- S/he is not already registered in the voter register of the PNA in the 1967 occupied Palestinian territories; and,
- S/he is of voting age at the time of the elections.
- S/he was born within the borders of Palestine as defined during the British Mandate era, or was entitled to acquire the Palestinian nationality under the applicable laws at that time;
- S/he was born in the 1967 occupied Palestinian territory and is not already registered;
- One of his/her ancestors falls under the application of paragraph (a) above, irrespective of where s/he was born;
- S/he is a spouse of a Palestinian.