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Sinn Féin MEP hails electoral process in Palestine as a success

26 January, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP and official EU Election Observer Bairbre de Brún has today hailed the success of the electoral process in Palestine as 'a victory for the Palestinian commitment to the electoral process'.

Ms de Brún made her comments after the EU Election Observing Mission held a press conference in East Jerusalem today declaring yesterday's election as 'open and well-administered parliamentary elections'

Speaking from East Jerusalem Ms de Brún said:

"Whilst there will undoubtedly be much media focus and political interest in the electoral outcome in Palestine, the main focus for the EU election observers was to ascertain whether or not the elections were held in a free and fair manner.

"On election day (Wednesday 25th Jan) I travelled around a number of polling stations to see the situation on the ground for myself. I am pleased to report that polling was brisk and there were no reports of any restrictions placed upon the electorate with the exception of the obvious restrictions on the electorate in East Jerusalem.

"I want to pay tribute to those who worked so hard to ensure that the election was held in such a climate, including the Palestinian Central Elections Commission and both the domestic and international election observers. In spite of the Israeli imposed restrictions in the run up to the poll they have managed to hold a well organized and free election." ENDS

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