PCHR Holds Consultative Meeting with Elections Monitoring Partner Organizations
Date: 26 January 2021
On Tuesday, 26 January 2021, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) held a consultative meeting in its office in Jabalia refugee camp, with organizations involved in monitoring the general elections. The meeting was attended by representative of 9 community-based organizations in northern Gaza Strip, namely al-Adham Association for Development, Amani France Association- Gaza branch, Women’s Action Department- Beit Lahia, El-Ata Charitable Society, Family and Community Development Association, Benaa’ Association for Development and Empowerment, Ghassan Kanafani Association, Sahel Association for Community Development, and Youth Committee for Beit Lahia Development.
This meeting is the first in a series of meeting PCHR plans to hold with representatives of partner organizations involved in monitoring the general elections in Gaza’s five governorates. The meeting aims at informing these organizations about PCHR’s work and in preparation to have observers from these organizations join PCHR’s elections monitoring team.
Mohammed ‘Atallah, PCHR’s Training Unit Coordinator, opened the meeting by welcoming the attendees, stressed the importance of partnership with CBOs. He added that it is one of PCHR’s priorities to enhance its partnerships with civil society organizations.
Abdel Halim Abu Samra, Head of PCHR’s Training Unit, praised the role partner organizations played in supporting PCHR’s elections monitoring efforts, and pointed out that some joined PCHR’s team in monitoring the local and legislative elections in 2006; and others joined our team in monitoring local council elections in 2016. At the time, CBO representatives received intensive training courses by PCHR’s staff in the field of elections monitoring. Abu Samra presented PCHR’s preparations for monitoring the legislative elections, expected to be held on 22 May 2021 as recently declared by the Central Election Commission. The preparations include preparing the lists of candidates with partner organizations and preparing training materials for observers.
Nafez al-Khaldi, a researcher at PCHR’s Democratic Development Unit (DDU), stressed on the importance of carrying out elections as an instrument of change and to guarantee the expression of the will of the electors. He added that PCHR’s interest in the election is because it is an indicator of democratic transformation in Palestine. Al-Khaldi highlighted PCHR’s major role in monitoring the elections in Palestine since 1996. PCHR also monitored the local elections of 2005, presidential elections of 2005, and the legislative elections of 2006, and had a crew of 600 observers, in collaboration with dozens of CBOs. Additionally in 2015, PCHR prepared for monitoring the local counsels elections, which were expected in early 2016. At the time, PCHR formed and trained a team of 350 observers; however, the elections were cancelled for political reasons.
In conclusion, CBOs representatives were involved in the discussion and expressed their intent to work with PCHR and monitor the electoral process as per the criteria set by PCHR for choosing observers.