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Palestinian Elections Committee Starts Discussions in Gaza

Palestinian Elections Committee Starts Discussions in Gaza

Tuesday, 29 October, 2019 - 11:45
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh (R) and Hamas Gaza leader Yehya Al-Sinwar (L) attend a news conference as the wife of slain senior Hamas militant Mazen Fuqaha gestures, in Gaza City May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Yehya Sinwar, said his movement was ready to hold general elections and would participate in them.

Following a meeting of Hamas leaders and factions with the Central Election Commission, Sinwar affirmed his movement’s support to the decision of the people.

“We are always ready for the election, and we will make it a lever to correct the strategic paths in the history of our people over the past quarter of a decade,” he added.

The Central Election Commission began meetings in the Gaza Strip with Hamas and other Palestinian factions to discuss the possibility of holding elections based on the decision of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Fatah is seeking to hold the elections to ensure an end to the split, on the basis that whoever wins will govern the West Bank and Gaza.

The PA plans to hold legislative elections first, followed by the presidential elections, while there are no plans for elections to the PLO National Council. However, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, wants the elections to be one of the outcomes of the reconciliation and not an introduction to it, and to include the National Council.

To end these disputes, Abbas dispatched the Central Election Commission, headed by Hanna Nasser, to Gaza. The committee is supposed to end lengthy meetings with the factions before Abbas announces the end of the elections.

Jamil al-Khalidi, regional director of the Central Election Commission in the Gaza Strip, said the meetings would discuss the possibility of holding general elections in the Palestinian territories. He added: “The Central Election Commission is technically ready; what is lacking is the agreement and the issuance of a presidential decree.”

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