Martyr Yasser Arafat, Al Wafaa’ Islamic Blocs secure even 23 seats at student council elections

Birzeit University announced the final results of the 2019 Student Council Elections, held on April 17, 2019, after completing the vote count, Al Wafa' Islamic Bloc secured 23 seats with 3997 votes, and Martyr Yasser Arafat Bloc secured 23 seats out of total 51 with 4065 votes. The Democratic Progressive Student Pole received 5 seats, while the Student Unity Bloc was unable to secure any seats.

In the case of a tie and according to the Internal Regulations of the Student Council, the elections prepartory committee will be deciding who is the bloc to form the council, based on the the vote count. Therefore, Martyr Yasser Arafat Bloc will be responsible for the formulation of the Student Council 2019.

The head of the election preparatory committee and Dean of Student Affairs Mohammad Al Ahmad, said that around 9041 out of 11,830 eligible student voters participated in the elections, with voting rates at 78 percent. The number of invalid votes was 137 percent, and 52 percent of the cast ballots were left blank.

The student council election was held with the epitome of transparency and integrity. A student debate between the blocs held on April 16, the day before the elections, saw the competing blocs present their electoral platforms and objectives and answering questions from the Dean of Student Affairs.

Commenting on the elections, President of Birzeit University Abdullatif Abuhijleh said, “Our students have broken the barriers that hurdle the normal democratic process in Palestine. With historic and responsible young leaders, Birzeit University has throughout the years been able to maintain the values of democracy and secured the rights of freedom of expression and free speech, thereby stressing the importance of maintaining unity in the Palestinian strive for justice and equality.”

“Amidst the hardships that Palestine must endure due to political fragmentation and the Israeli occupation,” Abuhijleh continued, “we are required - as an academic institution and part of the Palestinian socio-economic, political and cultural spheres - to approach our basic freedoms and rights boldly and to uphold our academic freedom.”

In 2018, Al Wafaa’ Islamic Bloc won 24 out of 51 seats in Birzeit University’s student council elections, held on May 9, 2018.  Martyr Yasser Arafat bloc won 23 seats, and the Democratic Progressive Student Pole claimed four seats.