In the context of Al Mezan ongoing efforts to promote democratic values and human rights culture, on Wednesday, 4 May 2016, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan), in collaboration with the Central Elections Commission, opened a workshop entitled “Elections: Gateway to Renew Legality and Legitimacy of the Political System”. The workshop was held at the Happy City Resort’s hall in Khan Younis, and targeted a number of civil society activists, special needs individuals, senior citizens, and women.
Gharib Al Sinwar, representative of Al Mezan, opened the workshop by welcoming the participants, and then gave an overview of Al Mezan’s work in promoting and defending human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly civil and political rights, in addition to economic, social, and cultural rights.
Kamal Muhareb, chairman of the board of directors of Advocacy Association for Development and Rehabilitation, thanked Al Mezan for organizing this workshop and for promoting and protecting the rights of people with disabilities. He also stressed the need for collaboration between civil society organizations and government authorities to address the need of people with disabilities and enhance their engagement in public life.
Yehya Mohareb, Al Mezan’s lawyer, discussed the laws regulating elections in Palestine, and stressed the importance of holding elections periodically to protect citizens’ rights. He also discussed the significance of elections as a cornerstone of any democratic system and the main grantor of its legitimacy and stability. He also stated that elections offer the widest participation opportunity for people to engage in the political process and decision making by electing their own representatives.
In conclusion, Al Sinwar stressed the importance of elections and effective participation to build a democratic system based on respecting political pluralism and human rights. He thanked the participant for their commitment and interaction, and hoped that they will play a role in raising awareness of elections among various social groups.
Through this awareness-raising campaign, Al Mezan seeks to raise awareness about elections as a fundamental part of human rights and a safeguard for many other rights. Therefore, Al Mezan is employing own experience and competence to reach out to members of civil society and marginalized groups through capacity building and awareness raising activities.