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Fatah, Hamas Discuss Holding Elections

Fatah, Hamas Discuss Holding Elections

Tuesday, 22 September, 2020 - 07:15
Palestinians take part in a protest against the United Arab Emirates's deal with Israel to normalize relations, in Nablus in the occupied West Bank (File photo: Reuters)

Palestinians will hold free and fair democratic elections based on proportional representation, announced Fatah Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub.

Rajoub told Palestine TV that every faction has the right to form its list according to the law, and after the elections, a formula for a national coalition government is supposed to be formed.

He indicated that Fatah movement is concerned with including everyone within the political system, noting that after the parliamentary election, presidential elections will be held, then the National Council will be formed, according to conditions.

“Elections are the way to end division and establish governance.”

Identical sources said that Rajoub has arrived in Turkey and will meet Hamas top officials to follow up on the meeting of secretaries-general and bilateral consultations.

Rajoub said that the previous Beirut meeting, which brought together over 12 factions including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, constituted a turning point in shaping the future of the Palestinian people.

“We are now in agreement, and no one can prevent us from holding elections, renewing the political system, and including all factions,” under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

Earlier this month, President Mahmoud Abbas met with the general secretaries of the Palestinian factions and informed them that he agreed in advance on all the decisions to be taken by the committee that would determine the mechanisms to end the division and unify the Palestinian political system.

The committees will include opposition factions such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

This was the first meeting chaired by Abbas and attended by the opposition including Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, the Secretary-General of Islamic Jihad Ziyad al-Nakhalah, since the division 13 years ago.

The factions formed a committee to present a strategic vision to end the division and establish reconciliation and partnership within a period not exceeding five weeks.

In the past, the two parties tried to agree on an election but failed due to disagreements over the mechanism, the references, and some laws, but now they admit that they can only unite in the face of challenges.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused the US administration of pressuring and blackmailing Palestinians in order to compromise on their national rights.

Speaking at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, Shtayyeh said that the US policy has been and is still aimed at encircling the Palestinian leadership and people and coercing them politically, economically, and financially.

The PM said that US President Donald Trump decided to cut all aid and prevented some Arab countries from fulfilling their obligations toward Palestine in a “systematic process of pressure and a programmed blackmail attempt to force us to compromise our national rights and Jerusalem for money.”

“To those we say that the person with rights is strong and those who have the will and faith in their homeland and hold on to their land do not bargain them for money," Wafa quoted Shtayyeh as saying.

Relations between the Palestinian leadership and the US administration were severed due to Trump’s stance on Jerusalem at the end of 2017, and his subsequent publication of a peace plan that the Palestinians rejected altogether.

Recently, Washington sponsored normalization agreements between Arab countries and Israel, which the Palestinian Authority categorically rejected and responded by attempting to unite all factions.

The Authority is now seeking an agreement with Hamas to end the division and hold general elections.

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