No Right to Impede Exploiting Palestinian Elections

by Mamdouh Nofal on 26/01/2005

After Mahmoud Abbas won the Palestinian elections, he received several congratulatory messages and calls, not only from the Arab leaders, but also from international ones. Could this international adoption of the Palestinian presidential elections and the U.S. awareness toward the Palestinian cause be an opportunity to improve the Palestinian position in the conflict, or is it a temporary awareness with limited impact? Will this adoption be positive or negative for the Palestinians, imposing many concessions?

Before answering this question, it is important to point out that it is the second time in eight years that Palestine carries out democratic elections. These elections were carried out normally, freely and democratically and satisfied Palestinians both outside and inside.

No one can deny that these elections were a kind of referendum about the political tendencies and the more adequate struggle forms in order to achieve the national objectives and that more than 80% of those who voted support peace and negotiations in order to restore their violated rights, and oppose the militarization and the adoption of the armed struggle and suicide attacks.

Regardless of the motives and reasons that pushed some of the Palestinian forces to boycott the presidential elections, the Palestinians succeeded in carrying them out freely in a way that showed Palestinians are a civilized people and the international and Arab observers considered it a significant democratic achievement.

It is obvious to say that the presidential elections and the completion of the municipal and legislative ones render difficult for the Israeli government to act unilaterally and grants the unbiased international forces strong cards they could use to push the negotiations forward.

No doubt the new president has a lot of national missions to carry out like providing security, stopping the violation of territories and the building of the separation wall and fighting unemployment and poverty. Abbas is also aware that there are several other internal and external obstacles.

No one has the right to undermine the newly elected president’s movement or cause the loss of an opportunity he thinks he could take advantage of to stop the human, economic and political losses.

Those who support renewing the political reform in Palestine have no other choice than supporting Abbas and translating his viewpoint into realities, especially regarding the national relations and the democratic elections that took place.