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Jimmy Carter to Lead Multinational Delegation to Observe Jan. 25 Legislative Council Elections in Palestinian Territories

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International delegation leaders include former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, former Albanian President Rexhep Meidani, and former Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio.

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and The Carter Center today announced their multinational delegation to observe the January 25 Palestinian Legislative Council elections. The 80-member delegation, organized by NDI in partnership with The Carter Center, is being co-led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, former Albanian President Rexhep Meidani, and former Spanish Foreign Minister and current member of the Spanish Parliament Ana Palacio. The delegation includes elected officials, electoral and human rights experts, regional specialists, and political and civic leaders from North America, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The purpose of this delegation is to express the international community's interest in and support for Palestinian efforts to develop a democratic election process, and to provide an impartial and accurate report on the conduct of the elections. These elections will cap an extraordinary year of political developments which have included Palestinian presidential, local, and parliamentary polls.

This delegation is part of NDI's comprehensive two-year program which began in September 2004 to monitor the electoral process in the region. The program has included the placement of long term observers in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza as well as a pre-election assessment with The Carter Center that released a statement on January 6. (Read the full statement.) The pre-election mission and the international observer delegation are supported by a grant from USAID.

NDI and The Carter Center also organized a joint observer delegation for the January 2005 presidential elections for the Palestinian Authority. The Carter Center has maintained a field office with long-term observers since May 2005. NDI and Carter Center reports on activities in West Bank and Gaza are available at and

The delegation will conduct its activities in a nonpartisan, professional manner in accordance with The Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, which was released at United Nations headquarters in October, and applicable law. (Read the Declaration in English or Arabic.) NDI and The Carter Center have been working in close coordination with the European Union and Canadian election observer delegations and will continue to cooperate on all aspects of the monitoring process.


NDI is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. Calling on a global network of volunteer experts, 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 is a not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, committed to advancing peace and health worldwide.

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