Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

To the Palestinian Electoral Commission

Open letter - January 23rd 2006

Dear Mr. President,

Dear Members of the Palestinian Electoral Commission,

We, Members of the European Parliament signatories of the present letter, particularly concerned about the smooth running of the next Palestinian parliamentary elections and for the consequences that a victory of Hamas may have on the Peace Process and on the future of the relations between the European Union and the Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, wish to draw your attention to the following:

•  Having regard to the Road Map adopted on 30 April 2003 ;

•  Having regard to the Common Position adopted by the Council of the European Union of 12 September 2003, which included the group Hamas in the EU list of terrorist organisations (2003/651/CFSP) ;

•  Having regard to the communication of the European Commission to the Council and to the European Parliament reaffirming the support of the EU to the Palestinian electoral process (COM(2005)458 final) ;

•  Having regard to the preponderant role played by the EU to support the Palestinian electoral process, namely support to the Election Reform Support Group, provision of technical assistance to the Palestinian elections administration, contribution to initiatives in support of civil society and deployment of an EU election observation mission (EUOM) for the Presidential elections in January 2005 (COM(2005)458 final) ;

•  Having regard to the Quartet’s statement of 22 September 2005 stressing that “those who want to take part in the political process should refrain from being members of armed groups or from taking part in armed struggle” ;

•  Having regard to the Quartet’ statement of 28 December 2005 stressing that “a future Palestinian Authority Cabinet should include no member who has not committed to the principles of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism” ;

•  Having regard to the recent declarations of the High Representative for the CFSP, Dr. Javier Solana, on the participation of Hamas in the elections and on the consequences it might have on the future of relations between the EU and the PA ;

We welcome the Palestinian Authority and the Electoral Committee's efforts in pursuing a democratic electoral process;

We invite the Palestinian Authority and the Electoral Committee to continue the efforts aiming at guaranteeing free and democratic elections;

We call on Israel and on the International Community to support the electoral process in the Palestinian Authority and to assist the Palestinian Authority and the Electoral Committee in this task;

We call on all the candidates standing for elections to sign a document in which they:

a.  Commit themselves to the peace process, based on the principle of two states for two peoples, recognizing Israel's right to exist;

b.  Renounce violence and refrain from terror activities;

c.  Commit to disarm.

We call on the groups and parties wishing to participate in the elections (especially Hamas) to show their willingness to become part of a genuinely democratic political environment by disarming the militias and by ensuring their Charter do not include articles calling for the destruction of the state of Israel and Anti-Semitic articles ;

We call on the Arab League and on the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to support the Palestinian elections and in particular to encourage the participation of moderate candidates.

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Gaubert (France, EPP-ED)
Vytautas Landsbergis (Lithuania, EPP-ED)
Cristiana Muscardini (Italy, UEN)
Charles Tannock (United Kingdom, EPP-ED)    
Bronislaw Geremek (Poland, ALDE)
Marek Maciej Siwiec (Poland, PSE)
Frédérique Ries (Belgium, ALDE)


First Signatories

Jean-Pierre Audy (France, EPP-ED); Edit Bauer (Slovakia, EPP-ED); Jana Bobosikova (Czech Republic, NA); Emma Bonino (Italy, ALDE); Philip Bushill-Matthews (United Kingdom, EPP-ED); Paulo Casaca (Portugal, PSE); Simon Coveney (Ireland, EPP-ED); Ryszard Czarnecki (Poland, NA); Gérard Deprez (Belgium, ALDE); Marie-Hélène Descamps (France, EPP-ED); Arpad Duka-Zolyomi (Slovakia, EPP-ED); Antoine Duquesne (Belgium, ALDE); Salvador Garriga Polledo (Spain, EPP-ED); Jas Gawronski (Italy, EPP-ED); Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (Poland, PSE); Genowefa Grabowska (Poland, PSE); Françoise Grossetête (France, EPP-ED); Ambroise Guellec (France, EPP-ED); Cristina Gutierrez-Cortines (Spain, EPP-ED); Anna Hedh (Sweden, PSE); Roger Helmer (United Kingdom, EPP-ED); Erna Hennicot-Schoepges (Luxembourg, EPP-ED) ; Filip Andrzej Kaczmarek (Poland, EPP-ED); Bernard Lehideux (France, ALDE); Boguslaw Liberadzki (Poland, PSE); Sarah Ludford (United Kingdom, ALDE); Cecilia Malmstrom (Sweden, ALDE); Marco Pannella (Italy, ALDE); Alojz Peterle (Slovania, EPP-ED); Jozef Pinior (Poland, PSE); Lapo Pistelli (Italia, ALDE); Lydie Polfer (Luxembourg, ALDE) ; Luis Queiro (Portugal, EPP-ED); Herbert Reul (Germany, EPP-ED); José Ribeiro E Castro (Portugal, EPP-ED); Dariusz Rosati (Poland, PSE); Manuel Antonio dos Santos (Portugal, PSE); Richard Seeber (Austria, EPP-ED); Peter Stastny (Slovakia, EPP-ED); Ursula Stenzel (Austria, EPP-ED); Margie Sudre (France, EPP-ED); David Sumberg (United Kingdom, EPP-ED); Eva-Britt Svensson (Sweden, GUE/NGL) ; Antonio Tajani (Italy, EPP-ED); Hannu Takkula (Finland, ALDE); Jacques Toubon (France, EPP-ED); Paul Van Buitenen (Netherlands, GREEN-EFA); Johan Van Hecke (Belgium, ALDE); Ari Vatanen (France, EPP-ED); Anders Wijkman (Sweden, EPP-ED); Stefano Zappala (Italy, EPP-ED); Josef Zieleniec (Czech Republic, EPP-ED)