27 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 01/10/2005
Mahmoud Abbas wins Palestine poll

Ramallah (AsiaNews/Agencies) - PLO chairman Mahmud Abbas was set to be formally declared the new Palestinian president later on Monday after a landslide election victory as Israel warned his real challenges lay ahead. A jubilant Mr Abbas proclaimed victory soon after exit polls showed that he had secured around two-thirds of the votes cast, dedicating the result to his predecessor and long-time boss Yasser Arafat.  "We dedicate this victory to the memory of our martyred leader Yasser Arafat, as well as all the other martyrs, those who have been wounded as well the 11,000 prisoners behind bars" in Israeli jails, Mr Abbas told hundreds of his supporters in the Palestinian Authority's political capital Ramallah. "I will work to put an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people for they are a people who deserve our esteem, our respect and our loyalty." Mr Abbas's nearest rival Mustafa Barghuti, who was projected to have won around 19 per cent of votes cast, took a less positive view of the proceedings, charging that there had been blatant irregularities. However, Mr. Barghouti acknowledged defeat, saying it was a victory for Palestinian democracy.

The final result was due to be officially announced on Monday morning but the outcome of only the second-ever presidential election was never in doubt.

Voting was extended for two hours after the central elections commission claimed that Israeli restrictions in the occupied territories had hampered access to polling booths.

However monitors said that by and large there had been no major problems and there were no reports of any violence.

US President George W. Bush hailed the vote as an historic day for the Palestinian people.

"Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza took a key step toward building a democratic future by choosing a new president in elections that observers describe as largely free and fair," Mr Bush said in a statement.

The conduct of the ballot even won praise from Israel.

"I think to the best of my understanding and knowledge it's a democratic process and this in itself is enormously important because it's the only democratic process in the Arab world," said Deputy-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Mr Abbas's main fear had been that vast swathes of the electorate would heed a boycott call by the radical Islamist movement Hamas.

The elections commission said around 70 per cent of the 1.28 million registered voters had cast their ballots on Sunday. Despite its call for a boycott, Hamas was making conciliatory noises.

Mahmud Zahar, leader in its Gaza Strip stronghold, said his movement would be "constructive, not destructive". Elections showed the very narrow support enjoyed by armed groups.

An Abbas presidency is likely to lead to a resumption of top-level talks with Israel, frozen since he walked out after a short stint as Arafat's first premier in September 2003.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
Israel to free 170 inmates in gesture of goodwill
Abbas's win, an invitation and challenge to Israel
by Arieh Cohen
10/15/2004 israel - palestine
Israel: no limits on Al Aqsa Mosque
Sharm el-Sheikh summit, a positive and encouraging step, says Nuncio in Jerusalem
PLO calls for an end to anti-Israel violence because it harms Palestinians

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.