Hamas’ Affliated Student Bloc wins Birzeit University Student Elections

RAMALLAH, April 23, 2015 (WAFA) – The Islamic Wafaa’ Bloc, Hamas’s student faction, Wednesday won 26 out of 51 seats in the Birzeit University Student Council elections held on April 22, 2015.

In a press release published on the university’s website, competing factions Martyr Yasser Arafat Bloc, Fatah’s student faction, got 19 seats, while the Democratic Progressive Student Pole won five seats.

The Birzeit Student Alliance (Palestinian Democratic Union, Palestinian People’s Party, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine) won one seat, said the university.

Head of the Elections Preparatory Committee and Dean of Student Affairs Mohammad Al-Ahmad said that 7039 out of 9135 eligible students to vote participated in the elections, with voting rates at 77.1%.

The number of null votes was 186 and empty votes amounted to 66.

President Khalil Hindi applauded the students’ commitment and cooperation, and that the elections took place in a peaceful and democratic atmosphere that reflected students’ sense of responsibility towards their university.

He emphasized that the efforts undertaken by the university would be insufficient without students’ efforts to contribute to an active and positive role in the community.

One day before the elections, a student debate between the competing blocs was held in which each bloc presented its electoral program and its goals and objectives, followed by questions asked by the Student Affairs dean.

In the 2014 elections, the Fatah Bloc won 23 seats out of 51 seats, the Islamic Wafaa’ Bloc got 20 seats, Student Progressive Democratic Bloc held seven seats and the United Students Bloc won one seat.

The results of Birzeit University’s student elections show an outstanding win for the Islamic Wafaa’ Bloc, while stand as an indicator to Fatah’s noticeable decline in popularity among students.
The winning of Hamas’ affiliated student faction wasn’t limited to Birzeit, but was reported in other universities.  Student elections were held the day before at Hebron’s Palestine Polytechnic University, with polls showing Wafaa’ bloc neck and neck with Arafat’s faction at 15 seats.
Birzeit University is generally perceived as Palestine’s best higher education institution. It is located in the town of Birzeit north of Ramallah.