U.S. Edition
COUNTRY Palestinian Territories
ELECTION TYPE Parliamentary
DATE January 25, 2006
At stake in this election:
  • 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)
Description of government structure:
  • Chief of State: President Mahmoud ABBAS
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Ahmed QUREI
  • Assembly: Palestinian has a unicameral Legislative Council (PLC) with 132 seats.*

* The size of the PLC increases with this election from 88 to 132 seats.

Description of electoral system:
  • The president is elected by popular vote to serve a four-year term.
  • In the Palestinian Legislative Council, 66 members are elected through party-list proportional representation and 66 by relative majority vote in multi-member constituencies to serve four-year terms.

* This mixed electoral system was adopted on June 18, 2005. In the last election held in 1996, all members of the PLC were elected by simple majority on a multi-member constituency basis.

Main parties in the electoral race:
  • Party: The Palestinian National Liberation Movement - Fatah
    Leader: Marwan Hasib Husein BARGHOUTHI
    Seats won in last election: 55

  • Party: Change and Reform*
    Leader: Ismael Abdel Slam Ahmad HANIEYA
    Seats won in last election: NA

  • Party: Independent Palestine
    Leader: Mustafa Kamel Mustafa BARGHOUTHI
    Seats won in last election: NA

  • Party: Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa
    Leader: Ahmad Sa'dat Yousif ABDEL RASOUL
    Seats won in last election: NA

  • Party: The Third Way
    Leader: Salam Khaled Abdullah FAYYAD
    Seats won in last election: NA

  • Party: Freedom and Social Justice
    Leader: Ahmad Abdel Salam Hasan MAJDALANY
    Seats won in last election: NA

  • Coalition: The Alternative**
    Leader: Qais Kamal Abdul Karim KHADIR
    Seats won in last election: NA

  • Party: Freedom and Independence
    Leader: Salim Ali Mohammad ALBREDENY
    Seats won in last election: NA

  • Party: The National Coalition for Justice and Democracy (Wa'ad)
    Leader: Eyad Rajab Ahmad ELSARRAJ
    Seats won in last election: NA

  • Party: The Palestinian Justice
    Leader: Samir Sadiq Abdel Rahman QADRI
    Seats won in last election: NA

  • Party: Martyr Abu al-Abbas
    Leader: Omar Ahmed Mahmoud SHIBLY
    Seats won in last election: NA

* The main component on the Change and Reform list is the Islamist Hamas Movement, which is contesting parliamentary elections for the first time.

** The Alternative is a Coalition of the Democratic Front, People's party, Fida and Independents. In the last election, Fida secured one seat in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

When was the last election?
  • The last parliamentary election for the Legislative Council was held on January 20, 1996.
Population and number of registered voters:
  • Population: 3,761,904 (July 2005 est. - combination of Gaza and West Bank figures)
  • Number of registered voters: 1,341,671 (August 13, 2005 combination of Gaza and West Bank figures)
Of interest:
  • Six out of the 66 seats distributed by majority system are reserved for Christian representatives. For the seats distributed by proportional representation, each list must include at least one woman in the first three candidates, at least one woman in the next four names, and at least one woman in each of the five names that follow on the list.
  • Only Palestinian residents in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem can vote. From the estimated 115,000 eligible voters in East Jerusalem, only 6,300 residents will be allowed to vote in the city; others must travel to the polling booths outside the city. This arrangement, based on the precedent set by the Oslo agreement and the 1996 and 2005 elections, came as a compromise after a ban on voting in East Jerusalem announced in December by Israeli officials created resistance among Palestinian officials. They threatened with a second delay in the parliamentary vote, initially scheduled for July 2005.
  • A younger faction of the Fatah party led by Marwan BARGHOUTI submitted initially its own list of candidates for the election but agreed to rejoin a unified list on December 28, 2005.
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