The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy

(Foreign Policy) Mustafa Barghouthi - Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to have been held last week. The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act that makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people. The only lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians will be based on a settlement negotiated between two democracies. The Hamas government prevented voter registration in Gaza, thus stopping elections from taking place there. However, though Hamas would boycott the election, it soon became clear that Fatah would still face tough competition from unaligned, democratic parties. Then, the government in the West Bank announced that it was postponing the election until further notice. This raises a fundamental question about the meaning of "state-building." Doesn't this term mean more than new construction projects, big government buildings, and a larger security apparatus? The writer, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

2010-07-23 09:17:31

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