Electoral Program

Electoral Program


President Abbas' Electoral Program for the 2005 Presidential Elections:

 

On the basis of national principles; in accordance with the speech of late President Yasser Arafat before the Palestinian Legislative Council on August 18th of last year; and in commitment to the principle of openness with our people in determining the objectives and challenges that lay ahead of us; I am putting forward the following national action program. With the trust of our people, it will become our guidebook in the period to come.

 

I. Adherence to the National Constants

 

Our struggle continues and we will continue to strive to reach our inalienable national rights as stipulated by our institutions. We will continue to advance forward with the aim of ending the occupation of the Palestinian Territories which started in 1967; we will establish an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, and find a just solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194 and the Beirut Arab League Summit of 2002.

 

II. Strengthening National Unity and Activating PLO Institutions

 

Strengthening the Palestinian people’s bonds of national unity is our bulwark in the face of challenges. Therefore, we shall continue to work with determination towards finding common ground for a national action program which mobilizes all potential in service of our struggle.

 

Promoting the role of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of our people wherever they are, is key in the furtherance of our nation’s common goals and in the political process. Additionally important, is defending the interests and rights of our people who have become refugees in exile and the Diaspora. We shall work unceasingly for the participation of all factions and political currents in the formulation of our national decision, within the framework of the PLO and the Palestinian National Authority.

We will activate the institutions and departments of the PLO and develop the work of Palestinian diplomatic missions and bodies of Palestinian communities worldwide.

 

III. Ending Israeli Aggression in All Its Forms

 

We pledge to work in the direction of ending the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in all its forms: invasions, assassinations, kidnappings, destruction of homes, farms and other property, dredging operations, etc… We will work continuously to lift the Israeli siege and closures, remove roadblocks, end restrictions on the movement of civilians inside the country and on the borders, and stop the targeting of infrastructure and economic facilities.

We will continue to call for the freeze of Israeli settlement activities. We are determined in our efforts to halt the construction of the Separation Wall and for dismantling it in accordance with the resolutions of the Hague Tribunal.

All of the aggressive Israeli practices mentioned above deepen and exacerbate the suffering of our people, and should be stopped in order to facilitate the lives of our citizens, and to form a basis for any serious future negotiations.

 

IV. Adherence to the Strategic Choice of Peace

In 1988, when late President Arafat announced at the Palestinian National Council the Council’s decision to declare independence, approve the Palestinian Peace Initiative, and adopt the historical two-state solution based on the establishment of the State of Palestine living in peace alongside with Israel, he was announcing the decision of the Palestinian people and leadership to make peace their strategic option. This strategic choice of peace would guarantee the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy.

 

Our continuing commitment to the signed agreements, the Middle East Roadmap, resolutions of international legitimacy and negotiations as the only means to achieve a final settlement, has to be matched with a similar serious commitment by the Israeli government under the supervision of the international community.

 

We emphasize here the readiness of the Palestinian National Authority to exercise control over any Palestinian land liberated from occupation. This, however, should be linked with maintaining the geographical and legal unity of the two parts of the Palestinian homeland, i.e. the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and should be part of an integral plan to end the Israeli occupation of all Palestinian Territories occupied in 1967. We hereby reiterate our opposition to any interim or transitional agreements.

 

V. National and International Relationships

 

We commit ourselves to continuously deepening our historical mutual relationships with the Arab countries and their peoples, the Islamic countries, the non-aligned movement, all friendly countries, and with solidarity movements sympathetic to our people all over the world.

 

VI. Mobilizing the Palestinian People to Resist the Occupation

 

The right of our people to resist occupation is a right guaranteed by international conventions. We will not waive this right nor will we waive the right to self-defense against Israeli aggression. It is our duty to practice in a timely manner the appropriate forms of resistance, in accordance with our revolutionary traditions and heritage, as well as with international law.

 

There has been massive resistance by our people to the construction of the separation wall and other practices of the occupation forces. Such resistance has proved its effectiveness; it has gained support from international public opinion and it has brought to light the needlessly aggressive nature of Israeli policies. It has thwarted Israel’s efforts to label our right to national struggle as terrorist. The International Court of Justice in the Hague has declared the construction of the separation wall an illegal act. This is a remarkable example of the effectiveness of our people’s public action and resistance.

 

In our quest towards freedom, independence and the realization of our inalienable rights, we acknowledge the need for popular and national mobilization. Therefore, one of our key tasks will be to launch the energy of the masses in order to resist the occupation practices against our people, including any infringements on their rights, land, and holy sites, both Islamic and Christian.

 

VII. The Defense of Jerusalem as the Capital of the Palestinian State

 

Our people in Jerusalem are being exposed to the worst settlement activities by the Israeli occupation forces, including the construction of the separation wall, the destruction of their homes, impoverishment, displacement, siege and unjust tax policies.  Therefore, they will become our priority.

 

We will focus on development projects in the economic, social, and educational fields, as well as on health and housing in the Holy City. We will mobilize support for such projects from institutions and funds in Arab and Islamic countries and in other friendly countries.

 

We insist on Palestinian Jerusalemites’ participation in elections, confirming our adherence to the Arab identity of Jerusalem, the capital of our Palestinian State.

 

We will continue our efforts to defend the Islamic and Christian holy sites and to protect them from any violations to which they may be exposed.

 

 

VIII. The Freedom of Prisoners and Detainees: an Indispensable Condition for a Just Peace

 

The release of prisoners from the prisons of the Israeli occupation forces is at the top of our national agenda. The freedom of our national heroes and freedom fighters is a prerequisite for the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace. We will continue demanding their release in order to create the appropriate conditions for the resumption of the peace process.

 

Our arduous and long road has been paved with the blood of thousands of Palestinian martyrs who have fallen for the sake of Palestine’s freedom. Their families have the right to get the best care and support from us. We have to take care of the wellbeing of the wounded and injured heroes too. We need to find a quick solution to the issue of activists, who were forced to become fugitives, by integrating them in the framework of the Palestinian National Authority and the PLO. This will guarantee their safety and provide them with a decent living.

 

IX. Building Institutions, Equality, and Tolerance in a State of Law

 

The present presidential elections, and the upcoming Legislative Council elections, as well as the local council elections are important stages in the development of our political system.

 

We believe that democratic elections provide the basis for the peaceful circulation of power. Such elections set the foundation for political pluralism, the separation of powers, and the development of state institutions. They also guarantee the fundamental freedoms, particularly freedom of expression and freedom of political action and parties.

 

In this context, we will work decisively to strengthen the rule of law, protect the independence of the judiciary system, and end chaos in security institutions. We will also work to guarantee security of citizens, to stop any abuse of power in the Palestinian National Authority institutions, and to bring before the Legislative Council laws that will systemize the work of these institutions.

 

Given the presence of democratic elections, which guarantee the freedom of political work to all political parties and factions, there will be only one authority and one legitimate armed force.

We are also committed to our traditional values of tolerance and respect of religions, which represent one of the most important components of our national identity on this Holy Land. We will work to keep Palestine, as it has always been, a beacon of civilization, tolerance and progress.

 

X. Continuing the Reform Process

 

We will make every effort to continue and complete the reform process, which the late President Arafat launched during his last speech before the judiciary, in order to eliminate all manifestations of corruption and abuse of position and influence. Such reform will also improve the performance and effectiveness of the government apparatus, strengthen the principles of transparency and integrity, open doors for the young, and ensure the rights of employees.

 

XI. Reconstruction and Revitalization of the Economy: Strengthening the Role of the Private Sector

 

We will develop an immediate plan to rebuild what was destroyed by the ongoing Israeli invasions, including homes, farms, and economic facilities.

 

This plan will also require development programs for the reconstruction of infrastructure in order to stimulate the national economy, which has suffered greatly from the Israeli siege and aggression. It will unlock the potential of the private sector, the main engine of our economy, allowing it to participate in the prevention of monopolies and in the economic planning of the Palestinian National Authority.

 

In order to reduce extremely high unemployment rates among university graduates and workers, and to improve the living conditions of workers and disadvantaged social groups, we will promote economic projects that provide new employment opportunities. We will also work on reducing government spending and on the optimal use of Arab and international aid, directing it towards the areas where it is most needed and which are most affected by the Israeli occupation and aggression.

 

In this action program, we will also concentrate on the agricultural sector providing what is needed for its development and opening export to the Arab and international markets.

A lot of attention will be paid to developing the infrastructure of the tourism industry enabling it to play a more significant role in the national economy. We will also expand the IT industry in our country.

 

We will continue to cooperate with the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees in order to meet the needs of our people who live in refugee camps in the homeland and the Diaspora.

 

XII. Launching of Development Plans in the Fields of Education, Culture, Health Care and Social Welfare

 

We will launch the necessary plans for the development of the educational process by building more schools, updating the curricula in accordance with scientific progress in the world, developing university education, supporting loan funds for university students, and encouraging scientific research and technical education within the framework of a comprehensive development policy. Improving the work conditions of teachers will also be one of our priorities. Their rights should be guaranteed while they take care of educating a new generation.

 

We will also work on expanding and developing health services and social welfare, raising them to a level befitting our people who have suffered so much for so many decades. We will not forget the situation of workers in the health sector who bare the heavy burden of treating victims of Israeli violations.

 

We will open the doors for the civil society institutions and non-governmental organizations to play a more significant role in the development process.

 

We will also pass laws that guarantee freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of the press which will protect the rights of journalists, and open new horizons for the development of our national culture. We will update the official mass media providing what is needed for their overall development.

 

XIII. Protection of Women’s Rights

 

By ensuring the protection of women’s right to equality, preventing any discrimination against them, and enhancing their representation in our institutions, we affirm women’s active contribution in the national struggle of our people towards freedom. Palestinian women have always played a prominent role in different fields of life, and it is necessary to develop laws that guarantee their rights, as well as those of the child and the family as a whole.

 

XIV. Ensuring the Wellbeing of the Young Generation

 

The future of any nation depends on its youth. Therefore, one of the major priorities of the Palestinian National Authority will be a program concerning youth. Young people represent the majority of our population. They are the leaders of tomorrow. We have to guarantee them the right to advanced education, health care and employment opportunities in order for them to be creative in all fields: science, education, culture, art, and sports, In order to achieve the Palestinian national dream of freedom and national independence, the Palestinian National Authority, with its political parties and institutions, has to open the doors for the younger generation to participate in political, social and public life.

 

I call upon our people to work hand in hand in order to accomplish this program and to realize our inalienable rights of establishing an independent Palestinian State on our Holy Land.