Develop the capacity of Palestinian institutions to help the integrity of elections to secure public confidence and gradually develop a culture of democracy and elections. Avoiding personal recrimination and abuse by maintaining discipline, preventing violence, intimidation and breaches of election law by setting up monitoring structures necessary for a thorough observation effort by integrating the code of conduct into domestic monitoring efforts.
The network will essentially monitor the election using the agreed upon principles of the code of conduct as primary monitoring tool, the network will coordinate its work with the follow up committee to be formed from those parties ,
The specific objectives of the initative include:
- Establish monitoring network
- Train monitors
- Draft observation forms
- Devise reporting and tracking system
- Set up monitoring hotline
Issue and widely disseminate report on the compliance with the Code of Conducts.Expected results:
- Forming a monitoring network with representatives from civil society, the Central Election Commission, the local mentoring committee and others.
- Gathering information from the field, Weekly meetings.
- Organizing one day workshop to finalize and adopt the procedure for the work of the network and explain the monitoring procedures based on the principles of the code.
- Train monitors, draft observation forms, devise reporting and tracking system
- Set up monitoring hotline, organize the required meetings in cooperation with the political parties and the Central Election Commission to facilitate smooth election campaign abide by the electoral code.
- Conduct a press conference to publicize findings and violations.
- Issue and widely disseminate a report on the election process and compliance with the Code of Conduct.
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, maintaining discipline and preventing violence, intimidation and breaches of electoral law.
It is the intention of the Arab Thought Forum to further utilize this development by applying the code to all future elections and integrating it into Palestinian democracy. The code of conduct will be used 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 the 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 an end to all public appearances of weapons.
The enthusiasm exhibited during this event through the widespread political factions pledges and media interest should be utilized. The Arab Thought Forum is proposing and willing to under take additional initiatives necessary to assure abidance to this code during the election campaigning period and the Election Day.
The project will be implemented with the cooperation of groups anticipated to participate in addition to Central Election Commission, the Civil Society Monitoring Committee and international institutions. The cooperation will include; coordination activities, design plans and required formats, training method and drafting final report.
The project will target groups each dedicated for:
- Finalizing and adopting the procedure for the monitoring work.
- Cooperate with the parties and the Central Election Commission to facilitate a smooth election campaign abiding by the agreed upon code.
- Conduct regular press conferences/releases to publicize code violations, geographic concentration of violations, and party response.
The target groups include about 200 political parties representatives, public officials, community leaders, CSO reprentatives, local government officials, and PLC members. The entire target group could reach the entire comunty, who will benefit 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