Student debate takes up question of May local elections

Two opposing student teams debated the need to hold urgent local elections that are planned to take place on May 13, 2017 at a debate organized by the Deanship of Student Affairs at Birzeit University and the Central Elections Commission, and facilitated by the head of the Political Science Department Abdel Rahman Ibrahim and the assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs Fadel Khaldi.

Advocating for the right of individuals to vote, the pro team stated that there is an urgent need to hold local elections, arguing that temporary institutions are no longer able to fulfill citizen’s needs.

Local elections, according to the pro team, will be the best way to end the current political fragmentation. They emphasized the need to hold local elections as a means of maintaining the state’s democratic values and its citizen’s political participation.

The opposing team argued, on the other hand, that elections in the prevailing circumstances are inappropriate. The team stated that there are prerequisites required before holding any elections, including achieving reconciliation between the West Bank and Gaza Strip without any foreign intervention, in addition to creating a democratic political environment that enables the voter to participate efficiently and freely.