Calling for lowering the age of candidacy and placing young people to the top of the electoral lists

CMI and the Masarat Center held a dialogue workshop on Palestinian youth and the elections on March 15, 2021.

In this week’s workshop – the second workshop of the dialogue session series on the Palestinian elections – the youth’s prospects in participating in the elections was discussed. More than 80 participants took part in the dialogue, most of them youth from different areas of Palestine, in addition to thousands of people who followed the dialogue workshop via social media. The keynote speakers in the workshop were young Palestinians from West Bank, Gaza and the diaspora: Rateebeh Batsheh from West Bank, Rami Maurad from Gaza, and Manar Lobani from Beirut.

In her speech, Rateebeh Batsheh noted that political participation and education to practice democracy have been absent in Palestine, because the last elections were held 15 years ago. She highlighted that the minimum age for candidates should be decreased from 28. She also noted that youth are not a homogeneous group and they have different needs, but we should support young people to participate. Rami Maurad noted that a large proportion of those registered to vote are young people, which shows that they are eager to participate. According to him, a good entry point for the political participation of youth would be re-establishing their role in different trade unions and entities, and then rebuilding political participation from there. The last keynote speaker, Manar Lobani, talked about Palestinians in the diaspora, and how they are both internally marginalized in Palestine but also by their host countries. During the open discussion, many participants emphasized that young people should be placed to the top in the electoral lists.

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