- Title: WEST BANK: PRESIDENT YASSER ARAFAT REGISTERS TO VOTE FOR PALESTINIAN ELECTIONS
- Date: 4th September 2004
- Summary: (W4) RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (SEPTEMBER 4, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. SCU: PALESTINIAN FLAG WAVING OUTSIDE PRESIDENT ARAFAT'S COMPOUND 0.05 2. LAS: ARAFAT ENTERING REGISTRATION SPOT 0.12 3. CAMERA OPERATORS 0.18 4. VARIOUS OF ARAFAT'S REGISTRATION FOR GENERAL AND MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS (3 SHOTS) 0.46 5. ELECTIONS POSTER 0.50 6. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT YASSER ARAFAT SAYING: "These elections were scheduled for the beginning of 2003, For some two years they (Israel) have not enabled us to carry out our municipal, legislative, or presidential elections, although the road map is very clear on allowing us to carry out the elections." 1.13 7. SCU: SECURITY GUARD 1.18 8. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ARAFAT SAYING: "Although we face difficult circumstances, we will pursue our elections, pursue our plan and our democracy at all levels of our lives" 1.42 9. WS: EXTERIOR OF COMPOUND 1.46 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 19th September 2004 13:00
- Location: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Reuters ID: LVA5OPHIS2DBP3SPVO4YRHRAN6MR
- Story Text: Arafat registers to vote for Palestinian elections.
President Yasser Arafat on Saturday (September 4)
registered to vote in an as yet unscheduled general
election that will test the strength of militant and
secular Palestinian groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Arafat thus joined a voter registration for
legislative, presidential and municipal elections.
Registration will last for five weeks but so far a date has
only been set for municipal elections.
The elections for the control of 38 municipalities will
begin in November and last for 12 months. The ballot
coincides with an Israeli initiative to withdraw from the
Gaza Strip, a power base for militant Islamic groups, by
the end of 2005.
A date has not yet been set for legislative and
presidential elections because Palestinian officials
complain that Israeli occupation of most of the West Bank
and parts of the Gaza Strip would make it impossible to
carry out fair elections.
Officials have decided to use municipal elections as a
test case before embarking on ballots for the parliament
and presidency of the Palestinian Authority.
"These elections were scheduled for the beginning of
2003. For some two years they (Israel) have not enabled us
to carry out our municipal, legislative, or presidential
elections, although the road map is very clear on allowing
us to carry out the elections" Arafat told reporters, after
signing his name as the first voter.
The Palestinian Central Elections Committee said it has
opened 1,000 voter registration centres throughout the West
Bank, including Arab East Jerusalem, as well as the Gaza
"Although we face difficult circumstances, we will
pursue our elections, pursue our plan and our democracy at
all levels of our lives" Arafat added.
Palestinian officials said the United States had
objected to the holding of Palestinian local elections
because it was worried that Hamas, which calls for Israel's
destruction, would be victorious in municipal polls.
They added that Washington was also concerned that
Arafat, whom the U.S. has sought to sideline because it
says he is tainted by "terror", would be re-elected as
Arafat denies any connection to militant attacks
A Hamas spokesman said his group would register for the
elections and would vote as long as the ballots were not
seen as part of any peace process with Israel.
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