* 1,013,235 voters are registered to vote Jan. 20 for both an 88-member Palestinian Council and a president of the Palestinian National Authority.

* The election will be monitored by more than 600 international observers - including 300 from the European Union. The precedent that the election process will set for Palestinian democracy is as important as the election result.

* 672 candidates are running for the Council, 27 of whom are women. Yasser Arafat, PLO chairman, and Samiha Khalil, a leftist social activist, are running for president.

* Christians, who account for 3 percent of the Palestinian population, are allotted six seats. Some 400 Samaritans are allotted one seat.

* The Council will draft a constitution.

* The main opponents of the peace process - the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - are boycotting the election.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.