RAMALLAH, May 27 (JMCC) - The Palestinian People's Party
, a small leftist faction, has decided not to participate in a broadly-crafted list in municipal elections this summer, officials said Thursday.
While party officials said they did not object to the idea of running in a list with other factions, they sought to preserve pluralism in the elections by refusing to join a broad coalition.
Parties led by Fateh
have sought to band together in one list representing the Palestine Liberation Organization
to force the defeat of any independents that might seek to challenge them in July 17 elections.
and Islamic Jihad
announced this week that they would boycott the elections, it is expected that some Islamist-affiliated independents will seek representation in the West Bank's local councils.
The People`s Party understands the Palestinian political system as pluralistic and based on proportional representation in order to ensure
this pluralism, said factional leader Bassam al-Salhi
to Voice of Palestine Radio.
In light of the particular circumstances of this election and the
absence of Hamas, the People`s Party is not interested in the formation
of lists that might win the election by default, or to join one
front of all Palestinian forces against specific independent
Salhi said his party would choose in each region whether or not to join lists with other factions.
The course of these elections is being shaped by 2006 parliamentary elections, in which the once-dominant Fateh faced defeat at the hands of Hamas. Since then, Hamas has been outlawed in the West Bank
and many of its members arrested, both by Israel
and the Palestinian Authority
Nevertheless, Fateh seeks to recoup its losses with a strong win in local government.