(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Wednesday's Palestinian election, hailed by the world for passing without incidents of violence, was not the same as democracy, Likud Knesset candidate Natan Sharansky told The Jerusalem Post outside the Knesset on Sunday.
Sharansky, who wrote the influential bestseller The Case For Democracy, said that there should have been a process of democratization in the Palestinian Authority that culminated with an election, instead of holding an election that he said came instead of real democratic reforms.
"Democracy isn't hocus-pocus; it's a process," Sharansky said. "An election between a terrorist organization that wants to destroy the state of Israel and a corrupt dictatorship that does not care about helping its own people is not democracy. The results of the election were clean but it has nothing to do with democracy."
|PLC ELECTIONS AFTERMATH|
Sharansky blamed the Israeli government for not doing enough to encourage the development of Palestinian democracy. He said there was never any pressure from Israel for the Palestinians to democratize.
A confidant of US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sharansky explained his position on Wednesday in a meeting at the White House with Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams and other top officials.
The American officials promised not to take side sides in Israel's election, despite recent statements from Bush and Rice praising Sharon and Olmert.
"They said they had no preference and that they would not repeat the mistakes of those who tried to interfere with Israel elections in the past," Sharansky said.