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Palestine Elections Null and Void

May 31, 1923
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A British Government Order in Council published officially here today declares as null and void the elections held recently for members of the Legislative Council, in accordance with the Palestine Order in Council of 1922. This proceedure was rendered necessary, the statement declares, by failure of the majority of the Arab population to avail themselves of the electoral privileges, making possible the formation of the Council consisting of 12 elected members and 10 chosen from amongst the directors of the principal Government Departments.

The sanction given for the creation of the Legislative Council is not, however, cancelled by this new order, since the Palestine Amendment Order in Council of 1925 provides for the constituting of the Legislative Council from and after the date fixed by the High Commissioner in executive council and ratified by proclamation in the LONDON GAZETTE.

The first general election for the choice of the twelve unofficial members will be held within six months of the issue of this proclamation, it is stated. In the meantime, the Advisory Council will be established by the High Commissioner, whom he will consult as occasion arises on matters affecting the peace, order and good government of the country.

This Advisory Council or any other advisory body may from time to time be constituted by the High Commissioner with the approval of the Colonial Secretary and is to continue to function until the Legislative Council is duly elected. No ordinance may be promulgated by the High Commissioner until he had consulted the Council. In any case, no ordinance is to be promulgated, restricting complete freedom of conscience or the free exercise of all forms of worship, save so far as it is required for the maintenance of public order and morals.

An ordinance discriminating in any way against the inhabitants of the country on the ground of their race, religion or language may in no case be promulgated, nor any ordinance which is in any way repugnant to or inconsistent with the provisions of the Mandate given to Great Britain by the Allied and Associated Powers.

The new Advisory Council as at present constituted comprises 12 unofficial members, of whom 7 are leading members of the chief Mohammedan families, one a representative Bedouin chief of the Beersheba district, 2 Arab Christians, and 2 Jews.

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