Palestinian factions will meet in Cairo this week to settle any differences that could hinder holding general elections in the Palestinian territory, according to the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC).
In a press statement in Ramallah, Chairman of the CEC Hanna Nasser said the factions will meet to resolve some technical issues necessary to hold fair and transparent elections.
The meeting in Cairo will be short and will result in a charter of honor for factions to abide by.
“There are no guarantees that elections will be held in the occupied Jerusalem until the moment,” Nasser affirmed, hoping they would take place under certain pressures.
“We have other alternatives, and what is important is that people from Jerusalem can take part in the election,” he added.
On Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed a presidential decree announcing dates for the first Palestinian elections in more than 15 years.
He set the date of legislative polls for May 22 and a July 31 presidential vote.
“The President instructed the election committee and all state apparatuses of the state to launch a democratic election process in all cities of the homeland,” the decree said, referring to the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Pa had received assurances from European and Arab countries that elections will be held in Jerusalem.
The sources said that Israel did not approve the election activity yet.
However, several states and parties have promised to ensure that the residents of Jerusalem will be able to participate in the upcoming elections, sources added.
Palestinians in Jerusalem participated twice before in the elections. The first was in the 2005 presidential elections and the second was in the 2006 legislative elections.
Hamas welcomed Abbas’s announcement, saying: “We have worked in past months to resolve all obstacles so that we can reach this day.”
The Palestinian people have the to right choose their leaders and representatives, Hamas noted.
Secretary-General of the Palestinian Central Committee of Fatah Movement Jibril Rajoub said issuing the presidential decree was the first step to revive democracy and build a political system that contributes to achieving unity.