Externe betrekkingen - 23-01-2006 - 01:01
A delegation of MEPs is in Jerusalem starting work on their observation of the Palestinian legislative elections. The 27 MEPs, led by EP Vice-President Edward McMillan-Scott (EPP-ED, UK), are the largest group of elected representatives observing this election. They will be deployed in various voting districts across the West Bank and Gaza Strip to observe the electoral process.
Mr McMillan-Scott said:
"These are the first Palestinian legislative elections since 1996. There is a very strong desire here for a functioning democracy - despite the tensions between factions and despite the occupation and the deplorable Israeli attacks during an election, the Palestinian people have been determined to hold this vote. It is in everyone's interest for the results, whatever they may be, to come from a fair process - and we will respect the results. We very much hope this election live up to the standard set in the Presidential election a year ago."
Before election day, the MEPs are meeting election officials and candidates from all the main lists. The delegation will also be meeting leaders of other international observer missions, including former US President Jimmy Carter.
Timetable and locations:
Monday 23 January - Jerusalem
Meetings with EU Election Observation Mission officials, other EU representatives in the West Bank and Gaza, Austrian Presidency Representative
Chairman's coordination meeting with former US President Jimmy Carter
Chairman's meeting with Speaker of Palestinian Legislative Council
Meetings with civil society representatives and candidates in East Jerusalem
Tuesday 24 January - Ramallah
Meeting with candidates from national lists
Meeting with the Central Election Commission: Dr Hanna Nasir (Chairman) and Mr Ammar Dwaik (Chief Electoral Officer)
Wednesday 25 January - Election Day
MEPs deploy in teams to East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, Ramallah, Gaza, Hebron, Nablus, Qalqilya and Jenin to observe election-day events
Thursday 26 January - Press Conference - 13.00
Ambassador Hotel, Nablus Road, Jerusalem
Veronique de Keyser MEP (PES, BE) Chief EU Election Observer
Edward McMillan-Scott MEP (EPP-ED, UK) Head of European Parliament Observation Delegation