CEC: Statement on the 2005 Presidential Election (includes official results)

The 2005 Palestinian presidential election was held in an orderly fashion, thanks in great part to the cooperation received from Palestinian citizens.

However, with respect to the electoral process to this point, the CEC makes the following two qualifications:

  1. Israeli forces which continue to occupy Palestine imposed huge obstacles to the participation of Jerusalemite citizens in the elections. Former US president, Jimmy Carter, Mr. Michael Rocker, and a number of other international observers intervened in response to Israeli obstruction and disruption, in an effort to resolve the problems. Despite their intervention, disruption and obstruction on the part of the Israeli’s continued, and negatively affected the turnout of voters in Jerusalem. The CEC also notes that the electoral procedures permitted in the city of Jerusalem by the Israelis do not meet the democratic standards for elections of this type.
  2. On Election Day, the CEC received thousands of telephone calls from individuals whose names appear on the civil register, but who were unable to locate their polling centers. This was despite intensive efforts made by the CEC to clarify issues for civil registry voters, including announcements in the daily newspapers, radio, TV, and other forms of media, and the availability of a toll-free telephone information service. It became clear that this problem had the potential to deprive many voters of their voting rights. In response, the CEC decided to resolve the issue through the following steps:
    1. Allow those who carry identification cards but were unable to locate their polling centers, to vote at the nearest civil register polling center.
    2. Record the name of the voter along with the number of his/her identification card. This record would permit the CEC to ensure at a later time that the vote has not been duplicated. Even though the presence of indelible ink on a voter’s thumb made multiple voting impossible, the recording of names was taken as an additional precautionary measure.
    3. Since this decision was taken at a relatively late time, the opening of civil registry polling centers was extended by two hours. To provide an equitable opportunity for all voters, polling times at voters’ list polling centers were also extended by two hours.
    4. The CEC will compare the names of those who voted on the basis of their identification card, against the record of voters drawn from the lists. If duplicate voting becomes apparent through this crosschecking procedure, the CEC shall take all necessary measures in accordance with the law.

The CEC would like to emphasize that it was faced with two options; either deprive some of the right to vote, or allow them to participate with controls to prevent duplication. The CEC found the second option the more appropriate.
While the CEC has conducted its work within the legal framework, it observes that the civil registry does not fulfill the needs of the CEC, and furthermore contains many mistakes and flaws. The CEC has pointed this out on numerous occasions, including to the Palestinian Legislative Council which approved use of the list. Furthermore, the fact that only 12% of the approximately 700,000 eligible voters listed on the Civil Registry actually turned out to vote, suggests that the use of the list is unnecessary, and that the proper course of action would be to abandon the use of the civil registry and instead augment the voters list through further registration.

The results announced today are provisional, totaling the counting reports from all 2,838 polling stations. Before the CEC can issue final results, the electoral district offices will study all complaints, and respond appropriately to those complaints. In accordance with the election law, political parties, candidates, their agents or representatives may appeal the decisions issued by the Central Elections Commission within two days of the date of publishing the final elections results.

The CEC would like to thank all those who have contributed to the success of the electoral process. It would like to especially thank the administrative team of the CEC, and employees of the Ministry of Education, the police, and local and international observers. It would also like to especially thank the candidates who acted in a responsible manner throughout the election period.

775,146 Palestinian voters voted in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. The results for each of the candidates are as follows (Note: the order of the candidates corresponds to the order they appeared on the polling paper)

Name of Candidate Affiliation Number of Votes Percentage
Mustafa Barghouti (Independent) 153,516 19.80%
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) The Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fateh) 483,039 62.32%
Bassam El-Salhi Palestinian Popular Party 20,844 2.69%
Tayseer Khalid Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine 27,118 3.50%
Abdel Kareem Shbeir Independent 5,874 0.76%
Abdel Halim Al-Ashqar Independent 20,774 2.68%
Al-Said Baraka Independent 9,809 1.27%

Invalid Polling Papers 29,366 3.79%
Blank Polling Papers 24,806 3.20%
TOTAL 775,146 100%

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