Voting process followed international standards: Palestinian observers Mr Hisham Kuhail

Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent

PALESTINIAN observer mission have said despite the delay in voting at some polling stations in Harare, opening procedures were transparent and were carried out according to international standards.

Addressing journalists in Harare, head of the observers, Mr Hisham Kuhail, the chief electoral officer of the Central Elections Commission of Palestine (CEC) said they focused on looking at the procedural aspects of the electoral process.

The team comprised of Mr Kuhail, Mr Jameel Alkhaldi, the director of the regional office of CEC in Gaza, Ms Tamara Tibi, legal researcher at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr Safwan Halabi, the director general of elections at the Ministry of Local Governance and Mr

Iyad Mohammad, the Director of East and Central Africa and African Union at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Kuhail said the polling staff proved to be competent and were able to explain all procedures to local observers and parties’ agents in clear and easy way.

“By the same token, national observers and parties’ agents seem to understand their rights and duties and they were satisfied with the process so far,” he said.

“It is worth mentioning here of the gender mix of local observers and parties’ agents. In all centres visited, long queues, peaceful environment, order, presence of local observers were evident.

“The voting process followed international standards. Voters were checked against the voters list, then given three ballot papers (Presidential, National Assembly, and local authority). The voter finger is then marked by indelible ink and cast his/her vote in a secure voting screen, and final cast the votes in their designated ballot boxes.”

Mr Kuhail said the opening, closing and counting processes were carried out in a transparent and efficient manner and according to internationally acceptable standards.

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