GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Election in Gaza postponed...

If they can't hold an election, how can they run a country?
The ruling Fatah Party today canceled elections in the Gaza Strip at the end of a full day of voting after gunmen disrupted balloting at several polling places, firing in the air and stealing some ballot boxes.

The violence underscored Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ inability to fight chaos in Gaza - or even in his own party - as Fatah tries to fight off a strong challenge from the Islamic Hamas group in parliamentary elections on January 25.

The vote was part of the first-ever primary election held by Fatah, a democratic reform considered crucial to removing the taint of corruption from the party. Many young Fatah activists, long frozen out of power by entrenched party leaders, insisted that transparent primaries determine the party’s legislative slate rather than secret back-room negotiations.

Even before the voting began, problems emerged. Technical glitches forced voting in the southern Gaza town of Rafah and areas of central Gaza to be postponed until Wednesday, Fatah officials said.

At some of the roughly 190 Fatah polling stations that did open across Gaza, many voters found that their names were not on the registration lists or that they had been mistakenly registered at the wrong station. Fatah officials said it was their first experience holding a primary, and they only had a short amount of time to compile lists of the 200,000 eligible voters in Gaza.

Some militants lost patience. In one station in a village in eastern Khan Younis, a group of about 15 Fatah gunmen, angry at not finding their names on the list, began shooting in the air, witnesses said. Officials then closed the poll for about 45 minutes.

Polling stations in the towns of Beit Hanoun and Deir el-Balah were also closed after similar incidents. Fatah gunmen barged into a polling station in the Sheik Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, took 16 ballot boxes into a yard, poured petrol over several of them and set them on fire, witnesses said. At least seven polling stations were closed because of problems with gunmen.

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