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Supreme Court freezes local elections in West Bank, Gaza until final ruling

The Supreme Court Thursday ruled to freeze local council elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip until a final ruling is issued on whether to completely cancel or resume it.

The ruling came in light of complaints against the election process in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Central Elections Commission (CEC) said in a statement that in light of Supreme Court’s decision, it “announces immediate cessation of all electoral activities.”

It said: “Local elections have stopped despite CECs’ continuous efforts to provide a valid and appropriate electoral environment that enables the holding of transparent elections that meet the respect of the Palestinian people and contribute to end the internal political division.”

It further added that “although the CEC respects the Court’s decision, it maintains hope for the democratic process, through elections, to be resumed soon.”

Legal expert Majed Arouri told WAFA the freeze means that the local elections will not be held in time and that the Central Elections Commission will suspend its functions until a final ruling is issued.

He added that while the process could take from weeks to several months, the freeze does not mean that the elections are canceled.

The court set a new session for September 21 for further deliberations.

Source: WAFA

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