ICHR calls for approving the outcomes of the factions meeting in Cairo concerning the amendments to Decree Law on General Elections of 2007

Ramallah/PNN/

The Independent Commission for Human Rights calls on the presidency of the State of Palestine to approve the demands of civil and human rights institutions as well as the recommendations of Palestinian parties and factions, that met in Cairo last February, to introduce rapid amendments to the Decree-Law on general elections. Meeting these demands can ensure allowing the largest possible number of citizens to exercise their right to political participation and to stand in the forthcoming legislative and presidential elections.

Specifically, and in line with the demands of civil society and factional consensus, ICHR calls for the following amendments to the electoral legislation:

Reducing the age of candidacy for membership in the Legislative Council set by the Decree-Law from 28 to become 23 years, and reducing the age of candidacy for the State of Palestine presidency from the age of 40 to become 30 years, to allow for youth political participation.

Amending Article (8) of the Decree-Law that greatly details the conditions for running for general (presidential and legislative) elections, requiring every candidate to resign from their work and attach documents indicating acceptance of resignation. This deprives large groups of the right to run for elections, as well as opens the way for abuse in refusing or accepting resignations by employers. In this regard. ICHR deems it necessary to amend the article by linking the resignation to winning the elections and becoming an active member of the Legislative Council, not just to run for office.

Reducing the value of the financial payment that candidate lists must pay as non-refundable financial security, pursuant to Article (49) of the Decree-Law, along with the candidacy application, thus reducing it from (10,000) US Dollars to (5,000) US Dollars only, refundable in all cases.

Amending the representation of women in the legislative elections from (26%) of the electoral list candidates, as approved by the amendment of the Decree-Law of 2021, to become (30%) of the candidate list members, noting that this percentage was approved by the PLO Central Council in 2015.

Clarifying the confusion resulting from amending Article 39, Paragraph 5 of the Decree-Law of 2007, where it is understood from this amendment that running for the presidency requires the approval of lists and parties, even for independent candidates, which requires clarification and remedies for this defect in the legislative drafting.

The continuation of the current texts would unjustifiably restrict the right to political participation and contradict national and factional consensus, as it does not reflect a positive open spirit or that of partnership that has recently begun to prevail in the Palestinian context.

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