Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

The EPP-ED Group welcomes the result of the Palestinian elections

10th January 2005

The EPP-ED Group was represented by nine of its Members as part of the European Parliament delegation observing the Presidential elections in the Palestine. The Delegation was chaired by Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP (EPP-ED/UK), Vice President of the European Parliament. The Members welcomed the conduct and outcome of the fair and free elections that took place yesterday, 09 January 2005. The Palestinian people have many reasons to be proud of this democratic process which could serve as a lesson to other Arab countries.

Charles Tannock, MEP (EPP-ED/UK), spokesman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament commenting on the results of the elections, said: "Particular tribute should be paid to the Palestinian Authority for conducting a free, fair and transparent election. I urge the new President-elect, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, to rein-in the terrorist elements of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to enable an atmosphere of peace and security to prevail so that following the withdrawal of Israeli settlements from occupied Gaza the road map for peace can be restarted. Israel will welcome a new Palestinian President with a strong legitimate mandate to negotiate an eventual Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with its Israeli neighbour”.

Ioannis Kasoulides, MEP (EPP-ED/CY), Vice-Chairman of the EP’s delegation with the Palestinian Legislative Council, made the following statement on the Palestinian elections: "The elections were well organised and efficient bearing in mind of the difficult circumstances under which they took place. However, a disappointing low registration and turn-out of Palestinians was observed in East Jerusalem which requires further investigation, so that it is not repeated in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections”.

The EPP-ED Group Members taking part in this observer mission were Edward McMillan-Scott (UK), Ioannis Kasoulides (CY), Jana Hybaskova (CZ), Charles Tannock (UK), Armin Laschet (D), Michael Gahler (D), Ursula Stenzel (A), Stefano Zappala (IT) And Jose-Manuel Garcia-Margallo (ES)