Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will set the date for holding legislative and presidential elections after his return to Ramallah, announced member of Fatah Party's Central Committee Hussein al-Sheikh.
President Abbas is currently on an official visit in Qatar and will receive Hamas’ response from the chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC), Hanna Nasser, when he’s back in Ramallah.
Sheikh said that Abbas will decide on a date for holding the elections depending on Palestinian factions' responses.
Executive Director of the Election Commission, Hisham Kahil, said all factions have given their written consent to the elections after receiving Hamas’ approval and acceptance of the elections.
The delegation of CEC returned from Gaza Strip to Ramallah carrying Hamas’ response and announced it had concluded its consultations on the general elections.
The committee said in a statement that its delegation with Hamas leadership and received a written response indicating it will participate in the upcoming general elections in the Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem.
The committee said it has completed all consultations on the conduct of general elections and will inform President Abbas of the results, who, in turn, is expected to issue a presidential decree setting the date.
Chief of Hamas politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, agreed to hold the elections within the Palestinian consensus and handed the movement’s “positive” response to Chairman Nasser.
“We will move forward in our national dialogue on the elections of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) while reconsidering ways to rehabilitate and develop the institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to resume its active role,” Haniyeh stated.
Hamas does not object holding the legislative elections followed by the presidential elections, within a duration not exceeding three months.
The movement also reiterated that legislative and presidential elections should be held in Jerusalem, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and demanded public freedoms are ensured.
Hamas noted that Arab and international bodies, as well as legislative and legal institutions, should be invited to monitor and supervise the election process to ensure its integrity and transparency.
Hamas concluded by stating that these requirements are the necessary foundations for conducting and ensuring the success of any electoral process.
However, the election is not just about Hamas's approval. Abbas wants to hold elections in Jerusalem as well, which presents a more complicated issue. Israel rejects any activity which exercises “Palestinian sovereignty” in East Jerusalem, considering the whole city as its capital.