The first municipal elections to be held on the West Bank of the Jordan River since the Israeli occupation began in 1967 went off quietly on Tuesday (28 March) in ten towns and villages -- despite the stated opposition of Arab nationalist organisations and Jordan's King Hussein.
SV People entering Nablus polling station and queue at doorway (2 shots)
SV INT. Elderly voter forward and hands in registration slip
SV Polling officials
SV Documents being checked (3 shots)
SV Poters put ballots in box (3 shots)
SV Local guard on roof
SV Mayor arrives at polling station
CU Guard on roof TILT TO people queueing at polling station
CU Voters in queue and entering (2 shots)
Initials OS/114 OS/122
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The first municipal elections to be held on the West Bank of the Jordan River since the Israeli occupation began in 1967 went off quietly on Tuesday (28 March) in ten towns and villages -- despite the stated opposition of Arab nationalist organisations and Jordan's King Hussein.
The King and the Arab groups see the election as a move by Israel to strengthen its claim to the area -- but Israel says the election was held in accordance with the wishes of the local people who want to ascertain their right to elect their own representatives.
Some Arab guerilla organisations threatened reprisals against candidates taking part in the election, but no incidents were reported during the voting. Local Arab police kept watch near polling places, while the occupying Israeli forces chose to keep out of sight.
The turnout of voters was high. By midday, some centres had reported that more than 58 per cent of those eligible had cast their ballots.
Under the rules of the Geneva Convention, the election was held under Jordanian law. Thus no women were allowed to vote -- and the electoral roll was confined to male ratepayers who'd been resident in the area for not less than twelve months. This meant that in Nablus, for instance (where this film was shot), only about 6,500 of the 67,000 inhabitants were eligible to vote.
SYNOPSIS: Voters queued on Tuesday at voting places throughout the West Bank of the River Jordan. They were electing new local councils in a controversial ballot -- the first to be held in the area since the Israeli occupation began in 1967. Arab nationalist organisations and Jordan's King Hussein both condemned the election -- in which only male rate-payers are eligible to take part. They say the election was simply a move by Israel to strengthen its position on the West Bank. Israel responded by saying the vote was the wish of the local people.
Local frontier police kept watch as candidates arrived to vote.This local mayor, like all the other candidates standing had received threats against him from Arab guerilla groups. However the election went off without any trouble and election officials report a strong turnout. By midday on Tuesday more than fifty per cent of eligible voters in some areas had been to the polls.