Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Fatah Discusses Preparations for Palestinian Elections, Hamas Stresses ‘Integrity’

Fatah Discusses Preparations for Palestinian Elections, Hamas Stresses ‘Integrity’

Sunday, 24 January, 2021 - 08:15
About 800 Jewish settlers live in Hebron under the protection of the Israeli army, while nearly 200,000 Palestinians live in the city's environs. (EPA)

Fatah Movement has discussed with Palestine Liberation Organization factions the formation of a joint list for the upcoming elections, said Fatah Central Committee (FCC) member Azzam al-Ahmad.

He noted, however, that no decision has yet been taken, pending a meeting in Cairo with the rest of the factions in February.

In his comments to the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), Ahmad said that the idea of a joint coalition that would bring together Fatah and Hamas in one list has sparked controversy in Palestine.

“Some people strongly supported such a list, which others rejected and many Palestinians wondered who would compete with the list, since they are the two major factions and the competition is supposed to take place between them.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will chair on Sunday an FCC meeting to discuss Fatah’s preparedness for the elections and the voting process.

According to Ahmad, the meeting will try to answer these questions: “How will we participate in the elections? What is required from the leadership and regulatory bodies? What standards will be set? What are the administrative, leadership and security measures required for the success of these polls? Is there a possibility to participate in joint lists?

The Central Committee will form several committees to follow up the implementation of the decisions taken at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Hamas has been carrying out internal discussions prior to Cairo’s meeting.

Hamas’s politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh has stressed the significant role of the United Nations and the international community in the upcoming elections, especially in ensuring the integrity of procedures, arrangements and freedom of voting, as well as pressuring Israel to “not hinder the electoral process, especially in Jerusalem.”

Haniyeh pointed out that the elections will open the door for ending division, bolstering the principle of partnership and protecting the national project, which is facing great challenges.

Fatah governs the West Bank while Hamas rules the Gaza Strip since the 2007 division.

Palestinians hope the legislative elections would be the beginning of this division’s end and a mean to unify Palestinian institutions in the West Bank and Gaza.

On Jan. 15, Abbas signed a decree setting legislative elections for May 22 and a presidential vote on July 31, in what would be the first Palestinian polls in 15 years.

Fatah immediately called for the widest participation in the elections, while Hamas called for overcoming all obstacles.

In order to make the general elections a success, all factions will participate in a Palestinian national dialogue in Cairo scheduled to take place in early February.

During the meeting, factions will discuss the arrangements required to carry out elections on time, create the necessary political, media and security conditions and sign an honor pact in which they pledge to respect the results of the polls.

Editor Picks