Palestinian National Council Factsheet

Elections to the Palestinian National Council:Towards Palestinian Democratic Representation

What is the first step towards Palestinian democratic reform?

The first step towards democratic reform is the organisation of free and direct elections to the Palestinian National Council, in which all Palestinians, in the homeland and outside in the shatat, have a direct vote. The fundamental flaw in the current Palestinian predicament is a crisis of representation, as most Palestinians do not have a say in the functioning of their own national Palestinian institutions. Palestinian refugees and those in the shatat have never exercised their democratic rights, leading to the political fragmentation of the Palestinian people, and its division into ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, as a result of external pressures. Moreover, the most important Palestinian democratic institution, namely the Palestinian National Council, has been marginalised from playing its national political role. In practice, it has been transformed into a hollow institution, empty of any real substance and unable to give democratic expression to the popular will of the Palestinian people. It is worth noting that there is a national consensus around this need to reactivate the PNC through democratic elections, although no serious steps have been taken to achieve this.


What is the Palestinian National Council?

The Palestinian National Council is the highest representative legislative body of the Palestinian people both inside and outside Palestine. This encompasses all Palestinian refugees in their various current locations, the Palestinians of the shatat, Palestinians living in the territories occupied in 1967, and those living in the territories occupied in 1948.