Hanna Nasser, the chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, presented his final report to President Mahmoud Abbas, with all the factions’ responses and comments on the upcoming general elections.
He said that all the factions have agreed to hold legislative and presidential elections, according to the principles laid down by the president in his letter to the election commission dated November 4. He added the commission has ended, positively, all internal consultations with the different factions.
Nasser met Abbas about two weeks after he received Hamas’ response.
Hisham Kahil, deputy head of the Central Election Commission, said that the meeting between Abbas and Nasser was to assess contacts made for the elections.
“Everyone is ready,” he said. “The President is yet to issue a presidential decree on the date of the elections; then, the question of Jerusalem will be discussed with international bodies.”
However, Fatah officials noted that Hamas’ written response to the Palestinian President’s call for legislative elections in the Palestinian territories needed clarification.
“Hamas’ response needs some clarifications from the head of the Central Elections Commission,” Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told the Palestinian radio.
“[They] say they are ready for the elections, then they put forward points that contradict what is announced,” he remarked.
Hamas had agreed to Abbas’ letter, which stipulated the issuance of a single presidential decree to conduct legislative elections, followed by presidential elections, within specific dates in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip.
The letter also said that legislative elections should be based on the proportional law and that Arab and international bodies and local, regional, and international civil society institutions should supervise the electoral process.
But Hamas also insisted that elections be held in Jerusalem, as did Abbas. However, Israel rejects any show of “Palestinian sovereignty” in East Jerusalem, considering Jerusalem as its capital.