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Date posted: October 07, 2020
By MIFTAH

On September 30, MIFTAH organized a discussion entitled Promoting youth participation in candidacy and voting in the next general elections, with the participation of youth leaders from the various Palestinian factions and parties. During the session, participants spoke about the arrangements needed to build trust among youth in general elections and to amplify their positions in their parties electoral lists with the ultimate goal of involving Palestinian youth in national decision-making.

The session included discussions and interventions by the attendees in which they reaffirmed the important role of youth and the need for them to reach decision-making positions, whether inside their own parties and factions or in the Palestinian political system. They also discussed how to build up youth to guarantee their active presence at all levels by holding elections, which they said was the true opportunity for youths to be appropriately represented. In this regard, the participants warned against absenting the role of youth in general.

Within this context, the interventions pointed to the continuous setback in the role of youth, confirming the ability of Palestinian youth in having an impact in many social, economic and national issues by securing a quota that guarantees their appropriate representation in various factional and party institutions. They also stressed on the need to form youth lists capable of representing this large sector of society and expressing their issues, saying it was time to renew Palestinian legitimacies, to prioritize ending the division and to begin a comprehensive national dialogue followed by a presidential decree to hold elections. This, they ascertained, would be the main precursor for participation in political life.

Some speakers addressed the age bracket in which youth are allowed to run and vote in elections, calling for the removal of restrictions on the candidacy age, which is currently at 28, saying the measuring stick should be how capable they are to express their issues and priorities. They said youth were capable of representing and integrating all social sectors in a political system that works towards cementing democratic values and the peaceful transfer of power.

The speakers also called for the formation of youth groups to put pressure on faction leaders to allow for their political participation in decision-making positions and to revive the democratic process in all unions within the PLO, maintaining that there is no guarantee of national rights without a guarantee of democratic and social justice rights through periodic elections with respected results. They said such elections are considered the best way out of national crises and the critical political stage in which the Palestinian people are living.

MIFTAH project coordinator, Hassan Mahareeq said the session was part of interventions of the Youth Empowerment Program aimed at creating a youth leadership capable of pressing towards true partnership in decision-making positions and developing public policies. This, he maintained, was a precursor to renewing the legitimacy of the Palestinian political system and achieving national unity amid the accelerating political changes at the Arab, regional and international level. He added that the project is implemented in partnership with the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC).

Mahareeq continued that the most significant takeaway from the session was the demand for a presidential decree for elections and for youth representation in decision-making positions through programs that reflect this goal. He also pointed to the significance of the call by parties and factions in investing in this opportunity to work towards guaranteeing senior positions for youth in their electoral lists, in a bid to strengthen their chances of reaching leadership positions.

MIFTAH continues to sponsor dialogue on the aspirations and demands of youth from the upcoming elections and reaffirm the rights of an entire generation of Palestinian youth to vote and run in elections as a fundamental approach to the democratic process.

Arabic ...

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