Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Palestinian vote could redraw political scene

Correct me if I'm wrong but don't most votes carry the possibility of redrawing a political scene?

Amid tight security and a sea of green and yellow flags, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza went to the polls Wednesday for parliamentary elections that could change the course of politics in the Palestinian territories and the region.

Okay, a little democracy in Palestine. That's a good thing right? I mean, these people are choosing their own destinies. Their shaping their future for brighter days. I have hope. I feel good. I wish them the best of luck.

About 1.3 million Palestinian voters are eligible to choose candidates from 11 parties in the first elections for the 132-member Palestinian Legislative Council since 1996.

That's cool. First elections in 10 years. Does this mean that we could see progress in the Middle East? Maybe so. Maybe the future is not as bleak as I originally assumed.

Hamas has won over some voters with a tightly organized campaign focusing on local issues, such as public services and the need to clean up government, while playing down its violent ideology.

Well, maybe Hamas has finally realized that the only way to bring about change is through voice and not violence. Maybe Hamas will be able to bring Palestine up with the times and support the people of Palestine into better days.

Rival militant groups pledged to keep their guns out of sight Wednesday, but several pre-election skirmishes and two killings, including the shooting in Nablus of Yousef Hassouna, 35, a local politician from a branch of the ruling Fatah Party, kept security forces on alert.

Okay, a few slip ups but that's to be expected I guess. Killing politicans on election, no, I still have hope. I'm staying positive.

In response to the Nablus attack, seven militant organizations, including Hamas, signed a declaration disavowing violence on election day.

Well, you shouldn't need a declaration disavowing violence on election day. And why no violence just on election day. Shouldn't you not want violence on say, Monday through Saturday and then you can give people Sunday to kill each other, you know, for starters as to not shock their system too much.

Israel has said it would not deal with Hamas politicians. The United States and Europe have warned they would withhold aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas, which opposes Israel's existence and is on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist groups, becomes part of the government.

Things are looking down again. I'm holding on to the hope. I'm really, really trying here.

Fatah's leading candidate, Marwan Barghouti, also called for a national unity government that would include Hamas. Serving five life terms in an Israeli prison for killing Israelis, Barghouti told the Al-Jazeera satellite channel, "There is no peace process."

I can't take this emotional rollercoaster. Stop the planet and let me off.


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