Ramallah (Agenzia Fides) - In the next Palestinian legislative elections, scheduled for May 22, at least 7 of the 132 seats will be reserved for Christian candidates. This is established by a decree signed in recent days by the Palestinian President, Mahmud Abbas. According to Palestinian media, the text affirms that 7 of the 132 seats in the next Legislative Council - the unicameral Palestinian parliament - will be reserved for Christian candidates. The presidential decree applies an amendment to the provisions of the electoral law approved in recent weeks in view of the next, important electoral appointment.
The mandate of the Palestinian Legislative Council is officially four years, but the last Palestinian legislative elections were held in January 2006. On this occasion, the electoral law in force reserved 5 parliamentary seats for candidates of Christian faith. The following year saw the military clash between Fatah - to which President Abbas belongs - and the Islamic political movement Hamas - which took control of the Gaza Strip. After the resumption of relations between the two organizations, in mid-January, President Abbas announced the dates for the next legislative elections (May 22) and presidential elections (July 31), which will also be followed by the elections of the Palestinian National Council (August 31, 2021). The dates were established on the basis of an agreement between the Palestinian political organizations and after a framework agreement reached between Fatah and Hamas. The last Palestinian presidential elections were held in 2005.
At the closing of the electoral rolls, more than 2.6 million Palestinians - or 93% of those entitled - had been registered for the next legislative and presidential elections in May and July in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. In recent days, the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mohammad Ibrahim Shtayyeh, appealed to Hamas for the release of 80 political detainees held in Gaza. The Islamist movement replied that the detainees in question had been convicted by the judiciary for crimes relating to national security. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 23/2/2021)