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Establish Commitment-Building Mechanism to Follow-Up the Code of Conduct

Objective:

Forming national, local committees and sub committees to follow up and build commitment to assure abidance to the Code of Conduct during the election campaigning period and the Election Day. This mechanism is necessary to enable political parties, candidates and their representatives to conduct election campaign based on ideals and standards of democratic principles. An election that associated with a peaceful orderly manner, focusing attention on public issues and avoiding personal recrimination and abuse by firmly maintain discipline to prevent violence, intimidation and breaches of election law.

Expected results:

  • Forming a national committee from representatives of the political parties, the Central Election Commission, the local mentoring committee and others. Gathering information from field, Weekly meetings with parties as a mean for public outreach strategy to raise the awareness of the society about Code of Conduct and to obtain wide public support.
  • Forming 16 local committees from representatives of the political parties, the Central Election Commission, the local mentoring committee and others.
  • Forming number of sub committees from representatives of the political parties, the Central Election Commission, the local mentoring committee and others.
  • Organizing one day round table meeting to finalize and adopt the procedure for the work of these committees.
  • Organizing the required meetings in cooperation with the political parties and the Central Election Commission to facilitate smooth election campaign abide to the agreed upon code.
  • Regular press conferences/releases to publicize code violations, geographic concentration of violations, and party response.

By signing code of conduct, the Palestinian political parties have agreed on specific principles and rules that guide them before, during and after elections. The Code of Conduct will enable political parties, candidates and their representatives to conduct election campaign based on ideals and standards and avoiding personal recrimination and abuse by firmly maintain discipline to prevent violence, intimidation and breaches of election law.

It s the intention of the Arab Thought Forum to further utilize this development with a goal in mind that this code will be applicable to all future elections and become a way of life in building Palestinian democracy and use the COD as a tool for monitoring the election based on the principles adopted by the running parties and groups.

The political parties agree in this Code to abide by the provisions of the Palestinian Election Law and the decisions of the CEC. They also agree to avoid slander and refrain from doing or saying anything that would personally harm other candidates or parties. The code also prevents campaigning in mosques, churches and government offices or use of foreign donations. It also limits the amount of money candidates or parties can spend on their campaigns. Most important, it bans carrying or use of weapons during elections, which means end to all public appearances of weapons.

The enthusiasm exhibited during this event through the heavy political factions pledge and media interest should be utilized. The Arab Thought Forum is proposing and willing to under take three additional initiatives necessary to assure abides to this code during the election campaigning period and the Election Day.

Beneficiaries

The project is being implemented with the cooperation of political groups anticipated to participate in addition to Central Election Commission. The project will target political groups each dedicated for:

  1. Finalizing and adopting the procedure for the work of committees.
  2. Cooperate with the political parties and the Central Election Commission to facilitate smooth election campaign abide to the agreed upon code.
  3. Conduct regular press conferences/releases to publicize code violations, geographic concentration of violations, and party response.

The target groups include about 250 political parties representatives, public officials, community leaders, CSO reprentatives, local government officials, and PLC members. If sub committees included, the total number of total targeted group could reached at lease another 2000 pepole not mentioning the entire comunty who will be benfing from the project impact.

The ATF hopes that the proposed activities will essentially contribute to:

Ensure that a) the candidates are of integrity, and will take special care to exclude persons who have committed or condoned unlawful acts). b) Respect the rights of all contesting parties and groups and refrain from any action that may hinder them from campaigning freely in accordance with election law. c) Maintain discipline among their members and supporters to prevent violence, intimidation and breaches of election law.

Ensure that a) the election campaign conducted in a peaceful orderly manner. b) Compliance with the election laws on all matters relating to display of posters and banners, conduct of meetings and processions. c) Co-operation between the police and election staff to deal with all election-related incidents of violence and other breaches of the law.

Project period: November 15, 2005 to February 15, 2006


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