Monday, February 20, 2006

Hamas Wins Seats in PLA Areas Where Fatah Multiple Candidates Outpoll Them

Apparently Hamas’ overwhelming victory in the Palestine Authority wasn’t nearly as overwhelming as their getting 72 of 132 legislative seats. Hamas got 44% of the vote to 42% for Fatah.

What happened? Often Fatah ran multiple candidates while Hamas had much better party disciple.

See A Lesson From Hamas: Read the Voting Law's Fine Print in February 19, 2006 New York Times by James Glanz. They show a chart:

■ In Jenin, Fatah got 140,546 votes to Hamas’ 102,799, but each won two legislative seats.
■ In Ramallah, Fatah got 169,734 votes to Hamas’ 134,858 but Hamas won four legislative seats and Fatah only one.
■ In Jerusalem, Fatah got 93,556 votes to Hamas’ 58,144 but Hamas won four legislative seats and Fatah only two.
■ Fatah had from three to six times as many candidates on the ballot.

Has anybody heard how the math works out? Hamas has 72 of 132 seats so opponents have 60 seats, but 14 of the Hamas elected members are sitting in Israel jails, so is the real balance of power: Hamas 58 votes and opponents 60?


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