Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has guaranteed that at least seven seats of a new legislative council will go to Christians in the elections in the occupied territories to be held  on May 22. The measure would Christians, who make up about 1% of the population of the occupied territories, an outsized representation on the council.

Palestinian Christians are ambivalent about the quota, which would allow at least seven Christians with the most votes to sit on the council. Hanan Ashrawi, a Christian who recently resigned her position on the PLO’s executive committee, told Religion News Service that she is uneasy about reserving seats for specific communities.

“When it comes to Christians I don’t see that they are excluded or marginalized. They have been extremely active in political, social, cultural and economic life, and many of them would be able to gain seats on merit without the quota,” she said, adding that a quota for women members on the council made sense, “because they were discriminated against and they have historically faced a huge challenge”.

Religion News Service