United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Piper today said he is encouraged by preparations for the early October poll across the occupied West Bank and Gaza – the first such concurrent elections in a decade – and appealed to all Palestinian parties to stick to the agreed code of conduct and to refrain from actions that could undermine the process.
According to a statement from the Office of the Special Coordinator (UNSCO), Mr. Piper me today with the Chairman of the Central Elections Commission (CEC), Hanna Nasir to discuss the latest preparations for the upcoming local council elections scheduled to take place on 8 October.
"I am encouraged by the efforts of the CEC and the dedication of its staff in preparing for this important election which is to be carried out across the State of Palestine. It will be the first concurrent poll in the occupied West Bank and Gaza since 2006,” he said.
He went on to welcome last month’s signing of the electoral code of conduct by the various Palestinian political parties, and he encouraged all concerned to adhere to it. Conducting the local elections in line with established international standards can contribute to advancing Palestinian reconciliation based on Palestine Liberation organization (PLO) principles, he added.
“This would be vital for establishing a democratic, unified Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution. However, the lack of party unity or any attempt to influence the outcome of the elections, including through intimidation, threats, violence or coercion during the election campaign, risks widening divisions and undermining the Palestinian national cause,” he said, stressing: “I urge all parties to refrain from actions that could undermine the integrity of the process.”