On Monday at noon, 10 January 2005, the Palestinian Election Appeals Court (EAC) rejected an appeal submitted by PCHR late on Sunday night, the 9th of January 2005, to issue a final injunction cancelling a decision taken by the Central Election Commission (CEC) to allow electors to vote using identity cards instead of relying on the electoral register.
A few hours before closing the polling, the CEC circulated instructions to officials of polling centers to allow citizens whose names are not registered in the electoral register to vote depending on checking their identity cards only and not relying on the electoral register.
Subsequently, PCHR submitted a complaint against this measure to the CEC, but has not so far received any response. So, later, PCHR submitted an appeal to the EAC to issue a final injunction cancelling the measure taken by the CEC and resulting measures since it violates the electoral law.
In the appeal, PCHR considered that the measure taken by the CEC violates Law 13 of 1995 Relating to the Elections and its amendments, and damages the essence of the law and democracy. According to Law 13, the electoral register prepared by the CEC and the civil register are together accredited for the purpose of preparing the final electoral register to determine who is eligible to vote and be nominated for candidature for the election. The law does not mention dependence on identity cards.
In its decision, the EAC first indicated that there was no written decision by the CEC in this regard, which is a condition to submit an appeal. Then, as PCHR agents provided evidence that the decision was circulated to all polling centers to implement it, the EAC rejected PCHR’s appeal claiming that PCHR had not received a response from the CEC regarding its complaint, and thus, PCHR cannot submit an appeal to the EAC in this regard.
Even though the decision taken by the CEC did not essentially damage the results of the elections, PCHR asserts that the decision violates provisions of Law 13 of 1995 Relating to the Elections, and damaged the electoral process, especially in the evening in polling centers designed for the electors whose names are registered in the civil register.
Regardless of the results of the elections and the impacts of the decision taken by the CEC on these results, PCHR believes that the decision violates and damages the essence of the Palestinian electoral law.