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Arrival Statement of the NDI and Carter Center Delegation to the 2005 Presidential Election of the Palestinian Authority


Jean Freedberg +972 54 696-6723 (NDI)
Kate O'Donnell, +972 54 764 0024 (NDI West Bank/Gaza)
Deanna Congileo + 972 54 696-6719 (Carter Center)
NDI Washington DC (202) 728-5528

International delegation co-led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former Swedish Prime Minister
Carl Bildt and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman

This Sunday, Jan. 9, the world will be watching as Palestinians choose their president. The success of this election, the recent local elections, as well as future votes at the local and parliamentary level, can lay the foundation for a Palestinian government that is open, accountable, and representative. To support this important process of democratic development, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) today announced the arrival of its delegation to observe the Jan. 9 election for president of the Palestinian Authority.

NDI's 80-member multinational delegation, organized in partnership with The Carter Center, is being co-led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman. The delegation includes elected officials, electoral and human rights experts, regional specialists, and political and civic leaders from 15 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The mission is funded through a grant from USAID.

Ultimately, it is the Palestinian people who will judge the quality of the electoral process. However, by mounting an international observation team, as it has done in more than 50 other countries around the world, NDI hopes to support the ongoing Palestinian democratic process.

From Jan. 6-8, the presidential election observer delegation will meet in the region with Palestinian government officials, civil society leaders, electoral authorities, candidates, and political analysts. The day before the election teams of delegates then will deploy to approximately 40 different sites in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Each team will meet with local election officials, party representatives, civic groups, and others to assess the election environment at their deployment sites. On Jan. 9 the teams will return to visit polling places and counting centers to observe the election process in their respective regions.

Following the counting of ballots, the teams will reassemble in Jerusalem for debriefing and to prepare a preliminary delegation statement that will be released Monday, Jan. 10 at the Seven Arches Hotel in Jerusalem.

During the period leading up to the Palestinian presidential election, NDI organized two assessment missions that, along with NDI's permanent staff in Jerusalem, monitored and reported on preparations for the election. In September and October, NDI mounted the only international mission to observe the voter registration process undertaken by the Palestinian Central Elections Commission. NDI found reason for optimism about the coming election but recommended immediate action on several key issues related to freedom of movement, voting in Jerusalem, and voter education. The pre-election missions were supported by a grant from USAID. The reports of these missions are available at the NDI web site:


NDI has been deeply involved in the development of democratic Palestinian institutions. In 1994, NDI began working in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in anticipation of the first Palestinian elections. In 1996, NDI and The Carter Center organized a delegation co-led by President Carter that monitored preparations for the Palestinian elections and observed the balloting process in more than 200 polling stations in all 16 electoral districts.

Following the 1996 elections, NDI supported a grassroots civic education program, Civic Forum, which became an independent Palestinian-run organization in 1998. From 1996 to 1998, NDI conducted a legislative-strengthening program with the newly elected Palestinian Legislative Council. More recently, NDI began a long-term political party-strengthening program.

NDI is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. Calling on a global network of volunteer experts, NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices, and institutions. NDI works with democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and to promote citizen participation, openness, and accountability in government.

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.

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