Thursday, April 05, 2012

Hamas and Fatah both brag about results of student elections in Bir Zeit

Who cares about student elections at a local university? When it is the only election going on in the Palestinian Arab territories, apparently everyone does.

Both Hamas and Fatah websites are featuring headline articles about the results of student elections at Bir Zeit University earlier this week.

Fatah won 26 of 51 seats; Hamas won 19, the PFLP 5 and the"Popular Struggle Front" 1.

Fatah is calling this a "landslide" victory and bragging that Hamas received one less seat than the last time they were allowed to run, in 2009. The Secretary of president Abbas spoke about the victory and the winning students celebrated at Yasir Arafat's grave.

Hamas is emphasizing that it was not allowed to run in the last few elections so that this is a great victory for them. They also point out that the Fatah bloc has gone down from 29 seats least year to 26 now.

Back in the slightly more real world, Mahmoud Abbas says he will not take over as prime minister as agreed upon in Doha until Hamas starts preparing for elections in Gaza, which they have not started yet. So for now, student elections are the closest thing to democracy in the territories for the foreseeable future.