Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (R) talks with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Optical illusion: the hidden results of the Palestinian elections

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In the final outcome of the Palestinian elections the Hamas party took 74 seats of the 132 available seats. This equals 56%. The division of the seats between the national lists and the district lists were 29 from the national list and 45 in the district lists (74 seats in total).

The hidden statistics paint a very different figure. On the national list the Hamas received 43.94% of the vote meaning that 56.06% of the Palestinian voters did not vote for the Hamas on the national list.

On the district lists Hamas gained 68.18% of the seats with non-Hamas candidates taking on 31.82% of the seats. But in reality, in the districts Hamas candidates received only 36.45% of the votes while non-Hamas candidates received 63.54% of the votes.

In reality, a clear majority of Palestinians voted against the Hamas. What happened is that Hamas presented a unified list in each district while Fatah and others had a multiplicity of candidates which caused great divisions. While this explanation does not alter the results of the elections, it is somewhat more comforting to recognize that the voice of the Palestinian electorate did not give a majority of support to Hamas.

Gershon Baskin

Gershon Baskin

Gershon Baskin is one of the most recognizable names in the Middle East Peace process. His dedication to creating a culture of peace and environmental awareness, coupled with his impeccable integrity, has earned him the trust of the leaders of all sides of the century old conflict. Few people have such far-reaching and positive impacts on promoting peace, security, prosperity and bi-national relationships.
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.
Gershon Baskin