Palestinian Authority Legislative Elections: May 22, 2021 and Presidential Election: July 31, 2021 (Postponed)

The chamber of the Palestinian Legislative Council, which has not met in years. Palestinian Authority elections are long overdue. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Jasmine Halki (CC BY 2.0)

Freedom House Rating

Not Free
Government Type
Semi-Presidential Republic
2.8 million (West Bank) and 1.8 million (Gaza Strip)
Legislative Elections
May 22, 2021
Presidential Election
July 31, 2021
Local Elections
May 13, 2017 (West Bank only)
Legislative Elections

January 25, 2006
Presidential Election
January 9, 2005
Local Elections
December 2004-December 2005 (both West Bank and Gaza Strip)

The Palestinian Authority – consisting of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank – had scheduled long-overdue legislative elections for May 22, 2021 and a long-delayed presidential election for July 31, 2021. However, the elections have been postponed, with no date set.

Political Context

Palestinian Authority elections are long overdue. President Mahmoud Abbas is currently in year 16 of a four-year term. Likewise, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections are also long overdue – the last took place in 2006, and the legislators’ terms expired in 2010. Meanwhile, the PLC has not met since 2007. In other words, the PLC is not currently functioning.

After several rounds of talks, Abbas scheduled legislative elections for May 22, 2021 and a presidential election for July 31, 2021.However, in late April, Abbas announced that the elections would be delayed.

Curated News and Analysis

Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post (May 11, 2021): What is Hamas trying to achieve by fighting Israel? – analysis

Daoud Kuttab, Forward (May 7, 2021): The U.S. must fight for fair Palestinian elections — and Israel should, too

Adnan Abu Amer, Al-Monitor (May 7, 2021): Palestinian factions mull next steps after Abbas calls off elections

Hugh Lovatt, European Council on Foreign Relations (May 5, 2021): Cancellation costs: Abbas and Palestinian democracy

International Crisis Group (April 30, 2021): Why Palestinian Elections Should Get Back on Track

Nidal Al-mughrabi, Ali Sawafta, and Rami Ayyub, Reuters (April 30, 2021): Palestinian leader delays parliamentary and presidential elections, blaming Israel

Henriette Chacar, +972 Magazine (April 22, 2021): Young Palestinians are fed up with their leaders. Can elections bring change?

i24 News (April 17, 2021): Push for postponing Palestinian elections gains momentum on back of Hamas concerns: report

Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations (April 20, 2021): Thinking About the Palestinian Elections

Barak Ravid, Axios (April 7, 2021): U.S. and Israel wary of potential Hamas win in Palestinian elections

Omar H. Rahman, +972 Magazine (March 16, 2021): Why elections are key to re-energizing Palestinian politics

Motasem Ahmed Dalloul, TRT World (March 16, 2021): What does Hamas want from elections? Global legitimacy.

Ynet News (March 16, 2021): Hamas presents new leadership including a woman for the first time

James Rothwell, The Telegraph (March 9, 2021): Yasser Arafat’s nephew issues challenge to Mahmoud Abbas ahead of first Palestinian elections since 2006

Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post (March 1, 2021): Palestinian Election: Coronavirus, Fatah strife may delay, cancel vote

Ahmad Melhem, Al-Monitor (February 28, 2021): Despite international support, obstacles threaten Palestinian elections

Adnan Abu Amer, Al-Monitor (February 27, 2021): Hamas holds internal elections ahead of Palestinian general elections

La Croix International (February 25, 2021): Christians assured of seven seats in new Palestinian Legislative Council

Omar H. Rahman, Brookings Institution (February 24, 2021): Elections in Palestine: Prelude or ploy?

Reuters (February 17, 2021): Palestinians report 93% voter registration for upcoming elections

Murat Sofuoglu, TRT World (February 13, 2021): Will elections bring change to Palestine?

AP (February 10, 2021): Palestinian elections on track after factions meet in Cairo

Fares Akram, AP (February 10, 2021): Gazans hope for vote after years of Hamas rule, isolation

Reuters (February 10, 2021): Palestinians open election registration offices in West Bank and Gaza

Nidal al-Mughrabi and Ali Sawafta, Reuters (February 8, 2021): Hamas and Fatah hold Egyptian-brokered reconciliation talks in Cairo

Isabel Kershner and Adam Rasgon, New York Times (January 15, 2021): Abbas Announces Palestinian Elections After Years of Paralysis

Aaron Boxerman, Times of Israel (October 7, 2020): Despite flurry of fresh promises, Palestinians skeptical elections will happen

Al Jazeera (September 23, 2020): Fatah, Hamas say deal reached on Palestinian elections

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content. That is to say, their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here

Updated May 11, 2021

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