It's not going to be anywhere near a perfect election, not with the Israeli military standing by with guns and the Israeli government restricting the movements of candidates it doesn't like, but it'll probably work out OK. And it will make it far more difficult for Israel to try and sideline the winner and negotiate with someone else. As Mahmoud Abbas, the frontruner, said on friday,
"Mr Prime Minister Sharon was elected by his people. We have no right to ask for that to be changed," he said. "We have no other choice but to sit with him..."
The same applies from the other direction. Whoever wins this election will have been elected by their people, and it is only they - rather than the government of Israel - who have the right to choose their leader. Hopefully the Israelis will remember that.