With the participation of political leaders and youth activists,

REFORM carries out a public debate session on the responsiveness of the internal processes of political parties towards enhancing the political participation of youth

With the participation of leaders of political parties and youth activists, the Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development-REFORM conducted a public debate session entitled: “Do the internal processes of Palestinian political parties support the political participation of youth?” The aim of this session was to reflect on the internal processes of political parties and shed light on opportunities that theses political parties provide for youth. In addition, the session aimed at identifying the reasons behind the youth’s lack of trust in these parties and other factors that hinder youth from participating effectively within political parties as well as developing tools that would enhance the participation of youth in accordance with the internal processes of political parties.

Mr. Tayseer Nasrallah, Fateh Revolutionary Council member, started off the discussion by reflecting on the responsiveness of Fateh’s internal and statutory laws towards enhancing the representation and participation of youth, asserting that a committee has been established upon Fateh’s Seventh Conference to review their internal processes and develop mechanisms to enhance the youth representation within different institutions of the party. Moreover, Mr. Nasrallah said that the regulation related to the participation of women was amended to enhance the representation of women by 30% but the draft was not ratified yet. He also called on youth to revive political parties by regaining their strengths, joining higher bodies and participating effectively at the decision making level within parties.

Zaher Al-Shashtari, Leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, pointed out that even though equal opportunities are available for youth and women to participate in political parties, there is no quota that regulates their level of participation. This can be attributed to an error in implementing the internal processes, in addition to a number of rules that requires amendment, particularly those related to candidacy age for joining Fateh Movement and its leadership bodies.

 Moreover, Mohammad Dweikat, member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front, declared that youth should have faith in their abilities and work accordingly to enhance their representation and participation with accordance to the internal processes of political parties. He also called upon political parties to raise the public political awareness on their rights and duties in order to restore their confidence in political parties and establish a participatory environment that ensures partisan and intellectual pluralism, and establishes a democratic and fair process that represents all components of Palestinian society.

At the end of the session, the participants emphasized the importance of reviewing the parties’ amended internal processes, in order to develop ways to increase the level of women and youth political participation and representation in accordance with the internal processes of political parties. They also called for activating the social role of parties’, establishing new mechanisms to reach out to different social platforms to raise the political awareness of the public and restore their faith in political parties, as well as establishing a pluralistic environment based on mutual respect and democracy .

This activity is part of The “Rooftop Debate – Drivers of Political Change” project aims to create a network of powerful social and political young leaders and equip them with supporting tools that enable them to create social change by directing them to find solutions to their problems and concerns, which promotes social cohesion, ensures pluralism and strengthens civil peace within society. The project also seeks to provide safe and interactive platforms that connect young activists with representatives of Government bodies and civil society organizations, in order to capacitate youth to voice out their concerns and engage in shaping public policies that are more responsive to their social and political needs.

This project is implemented in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Foundation