West Bank and Gaza
Esteemed Chairman and members of the Central Election Commission,
Subject: Abiding by the rules and dates of election campaign
On 4/5/2021, MUSAWA Center received a poster that was distributed and circulated on social media, bearing the slogan "Jerusalem First Camp 12". The poster subject of matter includes what it called a reception for the blessed month of Ramadan, holding cultural workshops, maintaining cemeteries, restoring Jerusalem homes and institutions, and cleaning the squares of al-Aqsa Mosque on Saturday 10/4/2021, while the camp begins at nine in the morning. It is worth mentioning that Jerusalem first (al-Quds Awwalan) is an electoral slogan similar to the slogan of one of the electoral lists while the camp poster itself bore a slogan and color similar to what the political party adopts for this electoral list, which is preliminary approved in a photograph by your esteemed committee.
The poster that has been distributed and circulated may constitute a violation of the rules and regulations of the electoral process, including the publication of advertising materials for the benefit of the aforementioned list before the start of the electoral campaigning date.
We enclose with our memo a copy of the aforementioned poster. As an independent election watchdog approved by your esteemed committee, we ask you to look into the subject of our memo, take the legal requirement regarding it and duly provide us with your response, affirming the neutrality of MUSAWA and its adherence to the rules and principles of civil supervision concerning the elections.
In this context we suggest re-publishing the rules and determinants of the electoral campaigning, the permissible publishing and circulation of the first approved lists before the start of the electoral process, and writing to the rest of the electoral lists in this regard, as MUSAWA Center noticed that many candidates and lists in the process of defining themselves and their list discuss or tackle what can be considered as campaigning for the vision and programs of the lists they belong to, which may constitute a violation of the principles of the electoral campaign and an early start of the campaign before its due date.
On the other hand, the initially approved electoral lists carried close or similar names, which could influence the attitudes of the voters, in a manner that may negatively affect the credibility of their exercise of their right to free choice. We look forward to your esteemed committee publishing the necessary tools and mechanisms to clarify the difference between the final approved lists, in a way that does not cause any confusion to the voters, in support of the questions and complaints received by MUSAWA in particular.
In the same context, MUSAWA received questions about the mechanisms and conditions for your esteemed committee to accredit the crews supervising polling stations, in order to ensure their neutrality and partisan independence, and your procedures for non-compliance with the rules of neutrality as a basic requirement to ensure the integrity of the voting process that forms the backbone of the electoral process. MUSAWA has also received complaints that some supporters or proponents of electoral lists have been subjected to security summons and pressures that negatively affect their exercise of a right to political participation, in accordance with the provisions of Article (26) of the Basic Law and the Decree-Law regarding elections and the best standards for fair elections.
We look forward that your esteemed committee take the necessary steps to clarify the conditions of membership of the supervisory staff of the electoral process affiliated with your esteemed committee, and to activate your role in addressing the security authorities, as part of the official institutions about the necessity not to interfere or influence any voter or candidate, in a way that affects his/her duly exercise of his/her constitutional right and under penalty of accountability.
We look forward to deepening the bonds of joint cooperation with your esteemed committee, in a way that embodies the values of transparency, integrity and impartiality and deepens community confidence in the neutrality and professionalism of your esteemed committee.
Issued on: 07/04/2021
• A copy of the Jerusalem First Camp poster that is being circulated.
• A copy of an affidavit.