1/25/2006

Palestinian elections

I see Palestinian voters will go to the polls for the first time today in almost a decade. It has been almost ten years since the last election to the Palestinian Legislative Council. According to polls the ruling Fatah party are just ahead of rivals Hamas.

Sinn Féin has a very close relationship with the Fatah party and we wish them well in the election. We will always support the Palestinian people no matter who they elect.

I hope that Palestinians are able to vote for their chosen parties free from restriction by Israel. A reccuring theme in Palestinian elections has been the behaviour of the Israeli forces. They have placed restrictions upon those involved in the organisation of today's election, including people being held at checkpoints for several hours, arrests of candidates and election offices raided, and candidates being told that they cannot campaign in East Jerusalem, even indoors. Voter registration was prevented in East Jerusalem until one week ago.

I notice that the US and Israel have said they will not work with a government that contains Hamas. It is none of their buisness who the Palestinians elect, it is the choice of the Palestinian people that counts.

They will just have to deal with the results, the fact that they might not like the result is neither here nor there!

P.S. I await Felix's rants about my "anti-Semitic" attitudes

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