The spokesman for the European Union, Shadi Othman, revealed the EU’s intention to send an exploration mission To study the technical mechanisms and technical aspects of the Palestinian elections, stressing at the same time that the Union will discuss with the relevant parties the coming months of the project to build a "gas" line for the power plant.

Othman explained to the (Palestine News) newspaper that the exploration mission will prepare a technical report on the mechanisms of monitoring the elections, likely to arrive in the next two weeks.
He reported that the European Union and Parliament received an official invitation from the Central Elections Commission, two weeks ago, to invite European observers to supervise the Palestinian elections along the lines of the similar role in the previous elections in 2006.

Preparatory task

Othman indicated that the mission will consist of several experts, who will study the technical details related to the file of conducting the elections and preparing for the arrival of the main mission, after preparing a report based on its visit to the Palestinian territories, and making recommendations to the European Union in (Brussels) and accordingly the Union will decide the size of European participation in the elections. And oversight mechanisms.

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He pointed out that the European Union mission played an important role in monitoring the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006 AD - and it was the largest international mission consisting of nearly 100 observers - and prepared a report on the elections, and how the electoral process took place and compared it to international standards.

With regard to the European Union’s handling of the election results, he stated that it will be divided into two phases: The first is before the elections, by affirming the right of every Palestinian citizen to participate or to run for elections, and that the elections are an internal Palestinian affair.

And he continued: As for the post-elections, "we have not yet seen the names of the candidates, and no one has announced a program or the names of parliamentary blocs, and we are waiting to see the lists, candidates and their programs."

He cautioned that the second stage is related to the post-elections deal with the government, which announces its positions and its political and service program, and based on this program, the European Union studies and determines its position on the mechanisms of dealing with it.

He stressed that there are international laws, standards, UN resolutions and references in place, which determine how the European Union will deal, stressing that "its policies are known."

Elections are necessary

The European Union spokesman affirmed that the European Union encourages and pushes for the completion of the elections, and calls on all parties in the West Bank and Gaza to hold transparent and fair elections in accordance with international standards.

However, he added: that elections before they are an interest for any party is a Palestinian interest, and that the union in all its meetings and meetings with the Palestinians communicates the message of "the necessity of holding elections in light of a changing global situation and the existence of a new American administration, apart from the need to end the division through the entrance to the elections."

Support and financing

On European support for the Palestinian elections, Othman revealed that the union will support the elections with 10 million euros, and will open a new building for the Central Elections Commission, which includes various equipment, and will assist in the elections process this month at a cost of about 5 million euros.

He mentioned that the rest of the European support will go to projects with civil society to help with electoral awareness and community participation in it, to ensure the participation of the largest number of people in it.

Gas line

Regarding the latest developments in the gas pipeline for the power plant, Othman emphasized that the European Union is following up the project with all parties, pointing out that there are technical committees working on the ground to start the project as soon as possible.

He said: There are many parties involved in this project in order to find a radical solution to the electricity problem in Gaza.

He indicated that the project will work to raise the efficiency of the station to give abundant amounts of electricity.

Othman referred to the European Union’s contribution to support the agency, which suffers from a financial deficit, indicating that there are details that the Union will announce soon about its support for the agency this year.

The spokesman for the European Union did not disclose the details, but the agency's annual support amounts to nearly 100 million euros.

He stated that the European Union provides annual support to the Palestinian Authority about 200 million euros, of which nearly 100 million are salaries for Palestinian Authority employees, in addition to its social assistance and support for the seawater desalination plant.