- Title: WEST BANK: PALESTINIANS VOTE IN MUNCIPAL ELECTIONS
- Date: 23rd December 2004
- Summary: (W3) ABU DIS, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 23, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. VARIUOUS OF CAR CARRYING PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER AHMED QURIE, , QURIE GETTING OUT OF CAR 0.16 2. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (English) PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER AHMED QURIE SAYING: "(Reporter: Good morning, can I ask you about the elections?) Now we start again the democratic process, and I am happy that I hope that it will pass today smoothly. This is the first local municipal elections since 1976 and therefore it is very very important." 0.42 3. SLV QURIE WALKING INTO OFFICE 0.49 4. PAN OF MAN LLOKING AT BALLOT PAPERS ON WALL 0.55 5. SLV QURIE ARRIVING AT POLLING STATION 1.00 6. SLV ELECTION STAFF GIVING QURIE VOTING PAPERS 1.11 7. VARIOUS OF QURIE FILLING OUT BALLOT AND PUTTING PAPERS IN BALLOT BOX 1.36 8. WIDE OF EXTERIOR OF POLLING STATION COVERED WITH YASSER ARAFAT POSTERS/ PEOPLE WAITING TO VOTE 1.43 9. WIDE OF SOLDIER WATCHING LINE OF PALESTINIANS STANDING OUTSIDE WAITING TO VOTE 1.48 10. WIDE OF PEOPLE ARRIVING AT POLLING STATION 1.50 (U2) ABU DIS, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 23, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 11. LV OF ISRAELI SECURITY /WALL THROUGH WEST BANK 2.00 12. CLOSE OF GRAFFITI ON WALL "FREE PALESTINE" 2.03 13. TOPSHOT OF CAR DRIVING ALONG WALL / PULLOUT TO WIDE OF BARRIER 2.20 14. WIDE OF BARRIER WITH AL-AQSA MOSQUE IN THE DISTANCE 2.26 15. WIDE OF ELECTION STAFF SITTING IN POLLING STATION/ PAN TO BALLOT BOX 2.36 16. CLOSE OF SEALED PACKET OF BALLOT PAPERS /PAN WORKERS PREPARING PAPERS 2.45 17. CLOSE OF POLLING BOX BEING LOCKED WITH PADLOCK 2.57 (U2) VILLAGE NEAR RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 23, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 18. VARIOUS OF PALESTINIANS HEADING TO VOTING STATION 3.08 19. WIDE OF EXTERIOR OF OF POLLING STATION 3.12 20. SMV GUARD OUTSIDE STATION WITH POSTER IN BACKGROUND DETAILING HOW TO VOTE 3.22 21. WIDE OF INSIDE POLLING STATION, VARIOUS OF RESIDENTS CASTING BALLOTS 3.34 22. SLV MEN VOTING 3.47 23. SLV ELDERLY LADY WITH STICK BEING HELPED TOWARDS POLLING STATION 3.57 24. SLV GUARDS STANDING OUTSIDE 4.02 (U2) RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 23, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 25. WIDE OF FIRAS YAGHI, HEAD OF THE MUNICIPAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION AT DESK 4.10 26. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIRAS YAGHI, HEAD OF THE MUNICIPAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION SAYING: "The importance of this election for all the municipalities in the West Bank that this is the first time since 30 years and within the Palestinian Authority. The second thing that this election all the parties the Islamlic and the National parties are sharing within the election and all the locality are happy that this is the first time they will choose their representative." 4.38 27. VARIOUS OF POSTERS DETAILING HOW TO VOTE 4.47 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 7th January 2005 12:00
- Location: ABU DIS, WEST BANK/ VILLAGE NEAR RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Reuters ID: LVABIKD0NYU4HP05GH5MC7FGUOK5
- Story Text: Palestinians, including Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie,
vote in litmus test local poll.
Palestinians, including Palestinian Prime Minister
Ahmed Qurie, voted on Thursday (December 23) in the first
municipal elections in the West Bank in nearly three
decades, a dress rehearsal for a presidential ballot next
month to choose Yasser Arafat's successor.
"Now we start again the democratic process, and I am
happy that I hope that it will pass today smoothly. This is
the first local municipal elections since 1976 and
therefore it is very very important.," said Qurie, casting his vote in
Abu Dis, near Jerusalem, where green flags of
the militant Hamas movement were prominent.
The elections were expected to be a test of strength
between the dominant Fatah movement and Islamists sworn to
In the West Bank, roughly 1,000 candidates were
competing for about 300 seats on 26 local councils, mostly
in villages, during the first phase of the elections. A
similar poll in the Gaza Strip was delayed because violence
Long lines formed in front of polling stations for what
was also the first Palestinian ballot since Arafat was
elected president in 1996.
The municipal election commission, said the council
ballot prepares the way for the presidential election
scheduled for January 9.
Palestinians will choose a successor to Arafat, whose
death in a Paris hospital from an undisclosed illness last
month has revived hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking
and triggered a wave of diplomatic initiatives.
Almost certain to win that election is Fatah candidate
Mahmoud Abbas, a U.S.-favoured moderate who opposes armed
struggle and is expected to try and revive negotiations.
But Fatah, which wants a state on land captured by
Israel in 1967, faces a tougher challenge in the municipal
ballot from Islamist groups standing in Palestinian
elections for the first time -- though still boycotting the
A good showing for supporters of Hamas militants in the
municipal elections could make it tougher for Abbas when it
comes to getting fighters to disarm or accept a ceasefire
after the presidential election. Fatah could take comfort
from polls since Arafat's death.
The Head of the Municipal Electoral Commission Firas
Yaghi explained how important the elections are.
"The importance of this election for all the
municipalities in the West Bank that this is the first time
since 30 years and within the Palestinian Authority. The
second thing that this election all the parties the
Islamlic and the National parties are sharing within the
election and all the locality are happy that this is the
first time they will choose their representative," he told
One from the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center
showed Fatah with a nearly 42 percent trust rating compared
to 26 percent in June. Hamas had slipped to 20 percent from
Violence has continued despite the new optimism,
especially in the occupied Gaza Strip where militants want
to portray a planned Israeli pullout next year as a
victory. Israel vows to smash them before its plan to
"disengage" from conflict.
Voting began at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and ends at 7 p.m.
(1700 GMT). Results are expected later on Thursday.
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