Meeting encourages youth electoral participation

The Deanship of Student Affairs at Birzeit University held on February 27, 2017 a roundtable to discuss the role of universities in electoral awareness and encouraging youth participation in the political process.  The meeting was attended by Birzeit University president Abdellatif Abuhijleh, representatives from the Central Electoral Commission-Palestine, other Palestinian universities, and the heads of student councils.

Dean of Student Affairs Mohammad Al Ahmad addressed the importance of this meeting, which seeks to enhance students’ awareness and participation in the coming local elections, especially highlighting the role of women in the political process in Palestine. “Your choice affects the public interest of our nation. Political participation reflects our commitment to the youth’s right of expression, culture of pluralism and the democratic transition of power through elections.”

Abuhijleh reaffirmed that the university’s mission is to prepare educated, aware citizens that are able to participate in the democratic process of our nation. “Elections are a real and effective opportunity for change,” he said. “That is why we are committed to holding annual elections for our student council. More than 3,000 students go through this valuable experience.”

Head of the public relations department at the Central Elections Commission Farid Tamallah said that this meeting is part of a larger project entitled “through your voice and my voice, we can change,” offered by Birzeit University through an electoral awareness program with other universities.

“We aim at raising the electoral participation of youth in upcoming elections and raise the electoral public awareness among the various components of the Palestinian society, especially youth, women, and persons with disabilities.”

The Central Elections Commission signed earlier Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with seven Palestinian universities in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip to implement electoral awareness activities aiming at encouraging youth participation in future elections. The CEC has approved project proposals from seven universities as part of an EU funded project, which will provide selected universities with financial support to implement awareness activities in universities during the second semester of 2017.