Frequently Asked Questions








1. Shouldn’t the PLO undergo some long overdue reforms before starting to organize towards a democratic PNC through voter registration and elections?
2. Who is eligible to vote to the Palestine National Council of the PLO?
3. Where does the call for PNC elections come from?
4. What is the relationship of the PLO to the Palestinian Authority (PA)? And the relationship of PNC to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)?
5. What is the Palestinian National Council (PNC)?


Shouldn’t the PLO undergo some long overdue reforms before starting to organize towards a democratic PNC through voter registration and elections?

A national consensus exists about the need for the PLO to undergo urgent democratic reform so it can better reflect the national strategies and political positions of the entire Palestinian people. The required reforms lie in two areas. First there are the elections laws and guidelines under which democratic PNC elections will themselves be convened. Second are the reforms to the institution itself. Electoral laws and guidelines are the responsibility of a future electoral commission for the PNC, which has yet to be formed. Such a commission must be informed and guided by popular debate and democratic deliberations on how such elections should be convened as to best serve the Palestinian people everywhere. Institutional reforms of the PLO, such as amending the National Charter, should be implemented by a directly elected parliament representing the entire Palestinian people. Only such a parliament would possess the legitimate and popular mandate to undertake this work. The Palestinian people, along with their representatives, can then freely determine their national liberation strategies. For more information on how the civic registration works, please refer to the FAQs on the Facilitation Office website at www.PalestiniansRegister.org.


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Who is eligible to vote to the Palestine National Council of the PLO?

Because the PNC is the highest legislative body representing all Palestinians, all Palestinians are entitled to vote in its elections (except for those already registered to vote through the PLC). A Palestinian is entitled to register as a voter for PNC elections in the civic registration drive, if: - S/he is not already registered in the voter register of the PNA in the 1967 occupied Palestinian territories; and, - S/he is of voting age at the time of the elections. In line with relevant PLO and PNA laws, a person shall be considered Palestinian, if: 1. S/he was born within the borders of Palestine as defined during the British Mandate era, or was entitled to acquire the Palestinian nationality under the applicable laws at that time; 2. S/he was born in the 1967 occupied Palestinian territory and is not already registered 3. One of his/her ancestors falls under the application of paragraph (a) above, irrespective of where s/he was born; 4. S/he is a spouse of a Palestinian. The mechanism for registration has a protective system in place to verify the identity of Palestinians registering and confirm their eligibility to vote, while keeping that information both secure and private.


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Where does the call for PNC elections come from?

The call for direct elections to the PNC is based on years of campaigning and organizing amongst Palestinians across the world, seeking a representative national institution that reflects the demands and positions of its people. It is based on three components: (1) a popular demand around which Palestinian communities in the homeland and shatat have mobilized, (2) the nationally expressed consensus and (3) the official policy of the PLO, and the National Reconciliation Committee comprised of all the parties. The basis for the demand lies in the PLO’s own fundamental laws; national positions such as the Prisoners Document of 2006, the various agreements of the National Reconciliation Committee in Cairo in 2010, 2011, and 2012; and the demands from hundreds of public meetings convened by Palestinians in the shatat, during earlier refugee mobilisations from 2003 to 2006. Leaders from the main Palestinian parties and factions, in addition to independents and intellectuals, have also encouraged Palestinians around the world to register to vote in this civic campaign in the National Call for Registration for PNC elections.


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What is the relationship of the PLO to the Palestinian Authority (PA)? And the relationship of PNC to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)?

After the Oslo Accords of 1993, the PLO Executive Committee negotiated the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, later known as the Palestine National Authority (PA or PNA). It was designed as a short-term, interim administrative entity under the authority of the PLO, charged with limited governance of certain areas of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip that were placed under Palestinian responsibility. The PLO remains the sole legitimate representative of the entire Palestinian people, and the official representative of their rights at the UN and other international fora. In 1996 the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was created for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and those elected to it were incorporated into the structure of the PNC, and represent that geographic sector of the Palestinian people in it. Most Palestinians eligible to vote in these areas registered with the Central Elections Commission (CEC), whose mandate is restricted to register Palestinians in the areas of Palestine that was occupied in 1967. There is now a comprehensive register for Palestinian voters for PLC elections in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, but no voter register for Palestinians outside those areas, where the majority of Palestinians currently live.


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What is the Palestinian National Council (PNC)?

The PNC is the parliament of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). It is the supreme legislative body representing the Palestinian people both inside and outside of Palestine. Its role is to represent all Palestinians in their current locations: the Palestinians of the shatat, as well as Palestinians within historic Palestine. It is where the decisions on national strategies and priorities are debated and made. The Charter of the PLO stipulates that there should be direct elections to the PNC, although they have never taken place.


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