Protocol Concerning Elections
1. Pursuant to Article III of the Declaration of Principles and in accordance with the provisions of this Annex, direct, free and general political elections will be held for the Council and, simultaneously, for the Ra'ees of the Executive Authority.
2. The holding of elections for the position of Ra'ees and for the Palestinian Council shall be governed by this Annex, and the Law on the Election of the Ra'ees and the Palestinian Council (hereinafter "the Election Law") and the regulations made under this law (hereinafter "the Election Regulations"). The Election Law shall be adopted by the Palestinian Authority. The Election Law and the Election Regulations shall be consistent with the provisions of this Agreement. Unless otherwise specifically provided in this Annex, all persons voting or standing as candidates in the elections shall be uniformly subject to the provisions of the Election Law and the Election Regulations.
The Central Election Commission
3. The Palestinian Central Election Commission (hereinafter "the CEC"), which will be appointed by the Palestinian Authority, will be responsible for the administration of the elections. The CEC will be responsible for the preparation and conduct of the elections and shall have the powers and competences necessary to fulfill these functions, as defined in the Election Law. All matters related to the elections which are not subject to specific provision in this Agreement shall be subject to determination by the Palestinian Authority or the CEC in accordance with the Election Law, the Election Regulations and any relevant procedures set out in this Agreement. The CEC and its subordinate bodies shall be independent.
4. a. All of the offices of the CEC and of its subordinate bodies, including the offices of the District Election Commissions (hereinafter "the DECs") and the District Election Offices (hereinafter "the DEOs"), shall be situated in constituencies set out in the Palestinian Election Law in areas under the jurisdiction of the Council.
b. All aspects of the electoral administration (such as publication of lists of electors or candidates, and other information concerning the conduct of the elections, appeals, counting votes, and publication of results) shall take place only in the offices of the relevant DEO.
Right to Vote and the Electoral Register
1. Right to Vote
a. The right to vote will be universal, regardless of sex, race, religion, opinion, social origin, education, or property status. Every Palestinian who meets the qualification to vote shall have the right to be registered to vote.
b. Only a person whose name appears on the Electoral Register, as defined in paragraph 2 below, and who is 18 years old or older on the day of the elections, will have the right to vote.
c. No person may be registered as an elector in more than one polling district, as defined in paragraph 2 below.
d. The qualification to vote will be the same for the election for the Ra'ees of the Executive Authority of the Council and the election for the Council.
e. Israeli citizens shall not be entered on the Electoral Register.
f. To be qualified to be entered on the Electoral Register, a person must:
h. The inclusion of any person on the Electoral Register at any address shall be without prejudice to the question of that person's legal abode at that address.
i. In this Agreement, the word "abode" denotes the main permanent fixed address within any polling district at which, at the time of the initial registration canvass, a person actually lives.
j. In this Agreement, the word "address" denotes the community, house, street, neighborhood or other description identifying the specific abode in which a person actually lives, where such information exists.
k. The following persons will be disqualified from being entered on the Electoral Register:
2. The Electoral Register
a. In accordance with the provisions of this Article, the Election Law and the Election Regulations, the CEC shall compile and maintain the list of all persons registered as qualified to vote (hereinafter "the Electoral Register"). A separate section of the Electoral Register (hereinafter "an electoral register") shall be kept for each defined geographical area possessing its own polling station (hereinafter "polling district"). b. In accordance with the arrangements agreed between the two sides, the CEC will compile the initial draft register. The compilation of the register in each polling district will be the responsibility of the Polling Station Commission (hereinafter "PSC") for that district.
c. The PSC must enter on the initial draft register the name of any person who is 18 or over, is qualified to be registered in the particular polling district, is the holder of an identity card issued by the Israeli authorities or the Palestinian Authority, and provides all the required information as long as the PSC believes the information to be correct.
d. The PSC will also enter on the initial draft register the name of any person who is 17 and otherwise meets all the criteria to be entered thereon. Such a person may vote if he or she has reached his or her 18th birthday on or before polling day.
e. The initial draft register will be displayed within each polling district at the site of the PSC. It shall bear upon each sheet the following text:
"This is the initial draft of the register of the persons entitled, if they are 18 years old or more on the day of the election, to vote in this polling district in the election for the Palestinian Council and the Ra'ees of its Executive Authority. The entry on this draft register of any individual is subject to confirmation that he or she is entered in the population register maintained by the Palestinian Authority or the Israeli authorities and thus the holder of an identity card issued by the Palestinian Authority or the Israeli authorities. Any person who believes that he or she has been wrongly omitted, and any person who believes that the information published about him or her is wrong, may submit a claim to the Polling Station Commission. Any person who believes that any other person entered on the draft register is not qualified to appear on this register may submit an objection to the Polling Station Commission. The deadline for receipt of claims and objections is YYMMDD".
f. A subcommittee established by the Joint Civil Affairs Coordination and Cooperation Committee shall consider questions of registration defined in this Agreement and coordinate the implementation of the registration arrangements (hereinafter in this Article "the CAC subcommittee").
g. Within 6 weeks of the compilation of the initial draft register, and following adjudication of all claims and objections, the Palestinian side of the CAC subcommittee will provide the Israeli side with a copy of this register as amended in the computer format agreed between the two sides and set out in Appendix 1 to this Annex. Upon receipt of this information, the Israeli side in the CAC subcommittee will confirm the information contained in the initial draft register with that contained in the Population Register. Subject to compliance with the provisions of Appendix 1, and with any agreed amendments following the experimental input or otherwise, this confirmation will take place within 7 days. Persons whose details do not appear, or whose details are significantly different from those in the Population Register, shall be removed from the initial draft register, unless the Palestinian side can provide satisfactory evidence within 7 days that the person is entered in the Population Register.
h. The publication of the Electoral Register and the display of the relevant electoral register in each polling district shall follow the confirmation provided for in subparagraph g. above. Each electoral register shall bear the following text:
"This is the register of the persons entitled, if they are 18 years old or more on the day of the election, to vote in this polling district in the election of the Palestinian Council and the Ra'ees of its Executive Authority."
i. At least three days prior to its publication, the final Electoral Register shall be forwarded by the CEC to the Israeli side in the CAC subcommittee in the form, and containing the information, described in Appendix 1.
Qualification and Nomination of Candidates
1. Qualification to be a candidate
a. Every candidate for the Council and every candidate for the position of Ra'ees of the Executive Authority of the Council shall be a registered elector.
b. Every candidate for the Council from the various constituencies set out in the Palestinian Election Law must have a valid address in an area under the jurisdiction of the Council in the constituency for which he or she is a candidate. Every candidate for the position of the Ra'ees must have a valid address in an area under the jurisdiction of the Council. A valid address shall be that of a residential property which is owned or rented or otherwise legitimately occupied by the candidate. This valid address shall be entered in the candidate's nomination paper. Where a candidate has more than one valid address, he may enter all such addresses on his nomination paper.
c. Israeli citizens may not be candidates for election to be a member of the Council or to be the Ra'ees.
The nomination of any candidates, parties or coalitions will be refused, and such nomination or registration once made will be canceled, if such candidates, parties or coalitions:
a. Nominations shall be submitted to the DEC on the official nomination papers, as specified in the Palestinian Election Law.
b. Following the close of nominations the DEC for each constituency will immediately publish the provisional Statement of Persons Nominated for its constituency in accordance with the Palestinian Election Law.
c. Upon publication of the provisional Statement of Persons Nominated, any person may, within 7 days, submit an objection to the CEC that a provisionally nominated candidate does not satisfy the criteria set out in paragraphs l.b, 1.c and 2 above.
d. Following the resolution of all appeals, and not later than 22 days before polling day, the DEC will publish the final Statement of Persons Nominated.
4. Nomination procedures - The position of the Ra'ees
a. The nomination of any candidate shall be submitted to the CEC on the official nomination paper, as specified in the Palestinian Election Law.
b. The CEC will publish the provisional Statement of Persons Nominated 3 days after the close of nominations.
c. Upon publication of the provisional Statement of Persons Nominated, any person may, within 2 days, submit an objection to the CEC that a provisionally nominated candidate does not satisfy the criteria set out in paragraphs l.b, 1.c and 2 above.
d. Following the resolution of all appeals (and therefore not later than 22 days before polling day) the CEC will publish the final Statement of Persons Nominated.
The Election Campaign
1. General campaign provisions
a. All activities carried out by nominated candidates, or by political parties, coalitions, or groupings of electors who have nominated candidates, or for their benefit, that are directly addressed to obtain the electorate's vote, shall constitute campaign activities. Candidates and their supporters may promote their campaign by any legal means.
b. The official campaign period of the election, during which the provisions relating to the election campaign will apply, will start 22 days before polling day and close 24 hours before the polls open. Campaigning on the day before polling day, or on polling day itself, will not be permitted.
2. Rallies and meetings
a. The CEC will publish a list of venues and facilities available for election rallies and meetings, which shall include all recognized public open air meeting places and all public buildings with a recognized public meeting hall. The CEC will also publish a list of routes available for marches. These lists will be posted in each constituency in the respective
DEO. Such campaign activities shall be conducted at venues and facilities included in the lists published by the CEC.
b. Without derogating from the principle that the Palestinian Police will ensure public order during the Palestinian elections, and in order to enable the elections to proceed smoothly, without any interference, obstacle or friction, the two sides agree to deal with, and coordinate with regard to, security issues that may arise in relation to the electoral process in the relevant DCO in each constituency.
c. Security issues relating to the international observers will also be dealt with in the relevant DCO, within the framework of the trilateral Palestinian Israeli-European Union forum, as set out in Article V, paragraph 7 below.
d. Each side shall take all necessary measures with regard to persons under its authority to prevent public disorder during campaign activities, to ensure that such activities do not interfere with the free flow of traffic, and to protect the electoral process from any violence, incitement, hostile propaganda or other undemocratic interference.
e. (l) The representative of a candidate or candidates wanting to hold a rally, meeting or march must submit an application to the relevant DEO giving details of the proposed time and venue.
(2) With regard to applications to hold such a campaign activity in areas in which the Palestinian Police exercises responsibility for public order, but there is no Palestinian police station or post, the DEO shall give prior notification of the activity to the relevant DCO.
(3) With regard to applications to hold such a campaign activity outside the areas in which the Palestinian Police exercises responsibility for public order, the activity shall only take place after coordination and confirmation through the relevant DCO.
International Observation of Elections
1. International Standards
The election process will be open to international observation. Observation will be conducted according to accepted international standards.
2. Scope of observation
a. All stages of the electoral process will be open to observation. This includes registration of electors, the campaign, the operation of polling stations during polling, the operation of the count in each polling station, and the totaling and scrutiny (including the determination of claims made by candidates or their representatives) at district and central level.
b. The observers will be asked to assess whether all stages of the electoral process are free and fair. The activity of the observers will be limited to observation, reporting and dialogue with the relevant authorities.
c. Observer delegations may wish at any point to make comments or representations about the conduct of the elections to the CEC, which shall consider them and reply appropriately.
d. In order to facilitate the independence of the observation, the mandate and operating instructions of each international observer delegation shall be determined by that delegation in consultation with the international observer coordinating body under the common terms of reference attached as Appendix 2 to this Annex.
3. Source of observers
It is envisaged that observers will be present from all parts of the world.
a. Observer delegations will, in particular, be present from the European Union, the United Nations, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, Canada, Egypt, Japan, Jordan, Norway, South Africa, the Movement of Non-Aligned Nations, the Organization of African Unity and the Islamic Conference Organization. Observer delegations from other governments or intergovernmental organizations may be added to this list upon consultation.
b. Other observers, including those representing non-governmental organizations, will also be present.
4. Coordinating body
The European Union will act as the coordinator for the activity of observer delegations.
5. Accreditation of observers
a. All observers, both international and domestic, shall be accredited through machinery established by the CEC. Accreditation will be issued by the CEC on request and will be conditional on acceptance of the common terms of reference. The accreditation card will contain a trilingual text (Arabic, English and Hebrew).
b. The accreditation card of members of observer delegations and members of the Coordinating Body shall contain the following details:
a. Observer delegations and members of the coordinating body (hereinafter "delegation members") shall be granted, according to international standards, the privileges and immunities necessary for the fulfillment of their activities in accordance with Appendix 3 to this Annex.
b. The names of delegation members will be supplied in advance by the CEC to Israel, following which privileges and immunities will be granted in accordance with Appendix 3 .
7. Trilateral coordination forum for logistics and security
The CEC, Israel and the European Union shall establish a trilateral forum for the purpose of dealing with issues (for example: security of observers, communications, visas, identification, and other questions of logistics) which are raised by observer delegations as requiring assistance, or which otherwise require coordination between the members of the trilateral forum. Other matters relating to the conduct of the elections may be dealt with between the CEC and the European Union bilaterally. The operational modalities of the trilateral forum will be agreed by the parties at its first meeting.
8. Freedom of movement
a. For the purposes of election observation, all measures necessary will be taken to ensure freedom of movement in all areas of operation.
b. Observers will not be accompanied by official representatives of the CEC or of Israel unless they so request.
9. Equipment of observers
a. Members of observer delegations will be identifiable by a distinctive outfit (cap, shirt, jacket etc.) and an overjacket carrying the words "INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER" in Arabic and English. Other observers will be otherwise identified.
b. Observers will not carry arms.
10. Reporting by observer delegations
During and following the election, the coordinating body, each individual observer delegation, and other observers may issue statements and hold press conferences as to their findings.
11. Domestic observers and parallel vote tabulations
Domestic observer organizations will be required to be independent of parties, coalitions and groupings of electors with nominated candidate(s) and will be accredited by the CEC on request. Domestic observer organizations will operate under the common terms of reference for domestic observers attached in Appendix 2. Any parallel vote tabulation organization will also be accredited as a domestic observer organization.
12. Provisions for journalists
Domestic and international journalists will be accredited by the CEC upon production of valid press documentation. Journalists shall enjoy freedom of the press and of movement in all areas in order to cover the electoral process. Journalists shall have access to all electoral facilities during all stages of the electoral process. The electoral authorities may request the presentation of the issued accreditation in order to facilitate this access.
Election Arrangements Concerning Jerusalem
1. Election Campaigning
A subcommittee of the CAC shall be established comprising representatives of the CEC and Israel, to coordinate issues relating to election campaigning in Jerusalem. Candidates conducting campaign activities in Jerusalem shall apply for the necessary permits through the CEC. The CEC shall obtain the necessary permits from the Israeli side in the CAC subcommittee. In addition, the CEC may disqualify candidates whose election campaigning in Jerusalem fails to comply with the provisions of the Palestinian Election Law and this Agreement.
2. Polling Arrangements
A number of Palestinians of Jerusalem will vote in the elections through services rendered in post offices in Jerusalem, in accordance with the capacity of such post offices. The relevant post offices for the purposes of these arrangements shall be:
International observers will be present in the above post offices on the day of the elections.
c. Procedure for Voting
1. Computer specifications
c. The ID Type field may contain one of three values:
A. International Observers
1. Observers are invited to observe the full Palestinian election process, from the announcement through registration, campaign, polling, counting, compiling of results and complaints procedures.
2. All bodies sending observers will be free in their choice of observers. All observers will be issued on arrival with accreditation by the CEC.
3. Any accredited observer is free to have contact with any person at any time and anywhere and to attend all election related events.
4. Israel will allow accredited observers to travel through and to get accommodation in Israel.
5. The premises, equipment and property, including papers, documents (including computerized documents), communications, correspondence and databases of observer organizations shall be respected by each side according to its applicable laws. This provision shall apply also to the property of observers created, maintained or used for the purposes of their work or duties.
6. Members of observer delegations will wear their distinctive outfit (caps, shirts, jackets etc., including the words "INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER" in Arabic and English) whenever and wherever they go on duty. Observers who are not members of observer delegations in accordance with Article V, paragraph 3.a of this Annex (hereinafter "other observers") will be otherwise identified.
7. All observers will be responsible for the arrangement of their own accommodation, equipment, means of transport, and medical and other insurance.
8. The CEC and Israel will bear no financial liability in respect of expenditure undertaken by observers, or of injury, damage or loss incurred by observers in the course of their duties or otherwise. The European Union will only bear such liability in relation to members of the coordinating body and to the European Union observers and only to the extent that it explicitly agrees so to do.
9. No restriction shall be placed on introducing foreign currency to fund the activities of observers nor on the repatriation of such funds to any country abroad nor on the free exchange of foreign currency through an authorized dealer in exchange at the market rate of exchange.
10. All necessary measures shall be taken to ensure the security of observers. Enhanced security will be provided as necessary on request.
11. All observers have the right to emergency medical assistance, including emergency evacuation as necessary. The appropriate Israeli and Palestinian authorities undertake to provide such emergency assistance and evacuation.
B. Domestic Observers
1. Domestic observers are invited to observe the full Palestinian election process, from the announcement through registration, campaign, polling, counting, compiling of results and complaints procedures.
2. All domestic observer bodies will be free in their choice of observers. Domestic observers will be issued with accreditation by the CEC.
3. Any accredited domestic observer is free to move and to have contact with any person at any time and anywhere and to attend all election related events.
4. Freedom of speech for domestic observers in regard of words spoken or written in their official capacity shall be guaranteed.
5. The premises, equipment and property, including papers, documents (including computerized documents), communications, correspondence and databases of domestic observer organizations shall be respected by each side, according to its applicable laws. This provision shall apply also to the property of domestic observers created, maintained or used for the purposes of their work or duties.
6. Israel will allow accredited domestic observers from the list provided by the CEC to travel through Israel in the course of their duties.
7. All observers will be responsible for the arrangement of their own equipment, means of transport, and medical and other insurance.
8. The CEC and Israel will bear no financial liability in respect of expenditure undertaken by observers, or of injury, damage or loss incurred by observers in the course of their duties or otherwise.
Privileges and Immunities of International Observer Delegations
For the purpose of this Appendix, privileges and immunities shall be granted to all accredited members of international observer delegations, and members of the coordinating body and personnel appointed by observer delegations to perform activities related to the election observation (hereinafter "delegation members").
1. Delegation members shall:
3. The premises, including all archives and databases, property, funds and assets of delegation members shall:
5. The coordinating body and each observer delegation will be able to acquire and use freely and efficiently, from the beginning to the end of its operation, the means of communication necessary for it to fulfill its duty. Within the framework of the trilateral forum as defined in Article V, paragraph 7 of this Annex (hereinafter "the trilateral forum"), the Israeli and Palestinian authorities will ensure access to all necessary communication lines and frequencies.
6. The coordinating body and each observer delegation will have access to either or both of:
7. Any equipment, materials, articles or goods imported by the coordinating body or any observer delegation in connection with their activities shall be exempt from all custom and import taxes and duties. It is understood, however, that such exemption does not include charges for services provided at Israeli points of entry. In the event of a request to pay storage charges resulting from an undue delay caused by Israeli authorities as certified by the trilateral forum, storage charges shall be reimbursed.
Questions relating to such imports regarding any prohibitions or restrictions in accordance with the law, shall be raised in the trilateral forum and dealt with under expedited procedures.
Each observer delegation will be allowed to import and re-export all necessary equipment, including cars, which it considers necessary to fulfill its duties. Within the framework of the trilateral forum, Israeli and/or Palestinian customs authorities will perform appropriate customs clearances through a special expedited procedure under the supervision of senior customs officials. All imported equipment, materials, articles or goods exempted from import taxes and duties will be re-exported or donated according to applicable customs procedures agreed upon between the two sides at the conclusion of the mission of the observer delegations.
8. a. Palestinians recruited locally to perform services for the coordinating body or for an observer delegation (hereinafter "local personnel") shall, subject to the provisions of this paragraph, enjoy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip:
c. The certificate will include the following text:
"The bearer of this certificate is officially attached to an international observer delegation. He or she is entitled to drive or travel in a vehicle bearing special observer delegation license plates in the course of his or her legitimate duties. He or she is entitled to limited immunity in the course of such duties, in accordance with the Interim Agreement."
d. Such local personnel shall not enjoy immunity from any legal process related to traffic offenses, or damage caused by such offenses. e. Matters regarding arrangements for entry by local personnel into Israel and for movement by local personnel between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including the issuance of entry certificates, will be handled within the trilateral forum by the Israeli representative to that forum, who shall, to that end, maintain ongoing contacts with the appropriate Israeli authorities with a view to expediting all related matters.
f. Local personnel shall not carry arms.
9. The coordinating body, and observer delegations, may display their flag and/or emblem on their office premises and vehicles
10. Within the framework of the trilateral forum, the Palestinian and Israeli authorities will appoint liaison officers as appropriate to ensure that all arrangements relating to requests concerning logistics and security are implemented.