Legal Mechanism of Public Employment Requires Holding Municipal Elections in Gaza
MUSAWA- The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession followed up with the reported news on a meeting organized by the Municipality of Gaza and the Ministry of Local Government on Saturday, 27th of July, at Rashad Al-Shawwa Cultural Center to the west of Gaza, in which the two organizers announced agreed on electing Dr. Yahya Al-Sarraj as the Mayor of Gaza in succession of Eng. Nizar Hijazi.
MUSAWA believes that such announcement flagrantly contradicts with articles 9 and 26 of the Basic Law on the right to participate in political life, and article 85 of the same law, which provides for “The law shall organize the country into local administrative units, which shall enjoy juridical personality. Each unit shall have a council elected directly, as prescribed by law”, and article four of the Local Authorities Law, which provides for “1. Local Elections shall be held in all Local Councils on the same day every four years upon the Council of Ministers' decision, 2. If it was deemed necessary for the integrity of the elections or the public interest, the elections commission may designate some Municipal Councils a different polling day different than the day appointed pursuant to paragraph (1) of this article, and the term of the elected council shall be determined according to the following: A. If the remaining term of the former council, as of the date the new Local Council assumes its duties, is more than one year, the new Council shall resume its duties until the end of that term. b. If the remaining term of the former council, as of the date the new Local Council assumes its duties, is more than one year, the new council shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term of the former council and then assume a new four-year term”.
MUSAWA notes that the aforementioned announcement and meeting by no means embody the concept of elections as defined in the Basic Law and the Local Authorities Law, given that the meeting was not conducted under the framework of the Internationally Accepted Elections’ Proceedings, and that it was not attended by all citizens who enjoy the right to vote, therefore it cannot be considered as an Electoral Process or an expression of the citizens’ will, neither does it legislate the inauguration of the new mayor. In the light of the above, the crises of conducting an Electoral Process persists in clear contravention of the rule of law principle as provided in the Basic Law, which deepens the division crises and constitutes a violation of national laws and international covenants and conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
MUSAWA demands all official and civil bodies to respect the citizens’ constitutional rights, primarily their right to choose their representatives in local councils and public authorities and to hold Municipal Elections in Gaza following the provisions of the Basic law and the Local Authorities Law.
With All Due Respect,
Issued on 1/8/2019