Electoral system


Map showing electoral districts and areas of formal Palestinian control (green)The previous elections chose 88 PLC members from several multimember constituencies via block voting. In advance of the 2006 elections, Palestinian electoral law was changed to expand the PLC from 88 to 132 seats and create a degree of proportional representation via a parallel voting system.


Each voter receives two ballots. On the first, the voter chooses one of several nationwide party lists. 66 of the PLC seats are distributed proportionally (in accordance with the Sainte-Lagu‘ method) to those lists that receive more than 2 % of the total list votes; if a list receives six seats, then the six candidates at the top of the list are elected to the PLC. Each list must include at least one woman in the first three names, at least one woman in the next four names, and at least one woman in the five names that follow.


The second ballot is for the voter's local constituency. The voter can cast up to as many votes for individual candidates as there are seats in his or her constituency. Votes are unweighted, and top-vote getters are elected to the PLC. For example, a voter in the Nablus district could cast up to six votes; the six candidates with the highest vote totals are elected.


In some constituencies, one or two seats are set aside for the Christian candidates with the most votes. For instance, in Ramallah, a five-seat constituency, the Christian candidate with the most votes will be elected to the PLC, even if he or she is not among top five candidates overall. The six seats reserved for Christians are considered the minimum quota for their representation in the council [1].


The number of seats each electoral district receives is determined by its population; the breakdown is as follows: [2]


Jerusalem: 6 seats (2 reserved for Christians)

Tubas: 1 seat

Tulkarm: 3 seats

Qalqilya: 2 seats

Salfit: 1 seat

Nablus: 6 seats

Jericho: 1 seat

Ramallah: 5 seats (1 reserved for Christians)

Jenin: 4 seats

Bethlehem: 4 seats (2 reserved for Christians)

Hebron: 9 seats

North Gaza: 5 seats

Gaza: 8 seats (1 reserved for Christians)

Deir al-Balah: 3 seats

Khan Younis: 5 seats

Rafah: 3 seats

Total: 66 seats (6 reserved for Christians)