Emergency Grant Aid for the Palestinian Legislative Council Elections
December 20, 2005
- On December 20 (Tue), the Government of Japan decided to provide emergency grant aid totaling about 720,000 dollars (about 77 million yen) to support fair and smooth implementation of the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, to be held on January 25 next year.
- The Palestinian Authority (PA) is planning to conduct Legislative Council elections on January 25 next year. In response to the request of the Central Election Committee of the PA to the doors for financial cooperation, the Government of Japan has decided to extend assistance of about 500,000 dollars (about 53.5 million yen) for the committee's voter education activities and provide about 220,000 dollars (about 23.5 million yen), through the Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to establish a Liaison and Support Unit (LSU) to monitor the activities of international and domestic election observers.
- The upcoming election for a legislative body will be the first in ten years since the inauguration of the PA in 1996. This will be a significant step to define the post-Arafat era, coupled with the presidential election held on January 9 this year after the death of Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on November 11, 2004.
- The Government of Japan believes that fair and smooth implementation of such important elections is vital for promoting the Middle East peace process. Besides the cooperation in funding, the Government of Japan is planning to dispatch a government election monitoring mission headed by Mr. Shintaro Ito, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and also to support the election monitoring activities of local NGOs through Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security projects.
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