The third part of the Palestinian population has been called to participate in elections to choose the members of the Legislative Council, which is aimed at supervising the actions of the National Authority. This is an event that must remind us that about six million Palestinian refugees won’t take part in this historical event.
Despite not being really democratic due to the fact that they have been organized in the presence of the occupying Israel, these elections could be, for different reasons, a decisive element in the political life of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. If these elections are organized in a democratic way, they could put an end to a one-party domination period and give birth to a true political and media plurality. In addition, they would eliminate the corruption that has characterized governance and judge the responsible ones. It’s been planned that the results of the elections change the predominant view which has allowed a group of people to negotiate on behalf of Palestinians without having their approval; negotiations that question, among others, the right to return and the right to found a Palestinian state whose capital would be Jerusalem.
It’s true that the new Legislative Council will reflect those changes with total objectivity, but it should not follow the steps of the parliaments of the Arab regimes. This council should not permit secret negotiations or catastrophic agreements like those of Oslo. Elections are the most important test a people occupied by Israel should face. It’s the proper time to set the example of a national democracy that will look after the welfare of its people and will help them make their dreams come true.

Al Quds Al Arabi (United Kingdom)

«الاختبار الديمقراطي الفلسطيني», by Abdel Bari Atouan, Alquds- Alarabi, January 25, 2006.