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Right to Democracy Upheld by Palestinian Supreme Court - Al-Haq Wins Local Elections Case against Palestinian Council of Ministers

Monday, 13 December 2010 17:38 REF.: 337/2010
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As a Palestinian human rights organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Al-Haq is pleased to announce that the case filed in July 2010 before the Palestinian Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Palestinian Council of Ministers to postpone elections has been successful. Al-Haq, Addameer and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center jointly filed the case against the Council of Ministers’ decision on 10 June to postpone the local elections; originally scheduled for 17 July.

The Palestinian Supreme Court found the Council of Ministers’ decision to postpone elections to an undefined date to be illegal under the Palestinian Basic Law and the Palestinian Local Councils Elections Law No. (10) of 2005. Under Article 26 of the Palestinian Basic Law, the Palestinian people have a right ‘to vote, to nominate candidates and to run as candidates for election, in order to have representatives elected through universal suffrage in accordance with the law.’

The Court also ruled that the Council of Ministers’ decision was in breach of the Palestinian Local Council Elections Law No. (10) of 2005. Under Article 5, postponing local elections requires an application from the Palestinian Elections Committee, which can be presented only when the safety of the elections is at stake, or for technical impediments. The same law prohibits postponing the elections for a period longer than four weeks.

The Palestinian Supreme Court ruling effectively cancels the Council of Ministers’ decision to postpone elections and requires them to promptly set a date for the local elections. This ruling represents an important contribution to affirm democratic rights in Palestine. Al-Haq commends the Palestinian Supreme Court for its genuine commitment in upholding the rule of law and justice as demonstrated in  today’s decision.

For more information on this case, please contact our LRAD Department at + 970 (0)2 2954646.

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