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Fatah, Hamas Reach Deal on Elections

Fatah, Hamas Reach Deal on Elections

Thursday, 24 September, 2020 - 13:15
FILE PHOTO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Fatah and Hamas movements have agreed to hold Palestinian elections after nearly 15 years, officials from both sides said Thursday.

Parliamentary and presidential polls will be scheduled within six months under a deal reached between Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh.

The last Palestinian parliamentary elections were held in 2006 when Hamas won an unexpected landslide.

"The two sides have agreed in principle to hold elections within six months," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official in Istanbul, where officials from both groups met over the past two days.

Fatah official Jibril Al-Rajoub said Abbas would issue a decree setting a date.

But he said the vote would be in stages - starting with parliament, then electing a new president, and finally choosing members of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinians' highest decision-making body.

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