Bethlehem and 11 other towns and villages on the West Bank of the Jordan elected new councils on Tuesday (2 May), paving the way for greater municipal autonomy under the Israeli authorities.
GV People entering polling station
SV People sticking posters on cars (2 shots)
SV Voters entering polling booths
MV INT. People waiting to register vote and officials (6 shots)
MV Voters place votes in ballot box (2 shots)
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Background: Bethlehem and 11 other towns and villages on the West Bank of the Jordan elected new councils on Tuesday (2 May), paving the way for greater municipal autonomy under the Israeli authorities. The elections were the first held in the area for nine years, and no incidents were reported.
Despite Arab guerrilla calls for a boycott, voter turnout was heavy among the 13,000 eligible electors. The elections are being held in accordance with Jordanian law, which restricts the franchise to property-owning, tax-paying males over 21.
A total of 194 candidate are contesting 109 seats in what is the second stage of the West Bank elections. The first stage, in the northern biblical area of Samaria, was held on 28 March.
Successful completion of the elections may mean that Israeli military authorities can withdraw from municipal affairs, handing over local affairs entirely to the newly elected councils.
Political issues were excluded from the campaign, and candidates have concentrated on such local matters as welfare, water and electricity supplies, and town planning.