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Palestinian Municipal Polls in West Bank, Gaza Set for December

Palestinian Municipal Polls in West Bank, Gaza Set for December

Saturday, 18 September, 2021 - 05:15
A general view shows Gaza City September 2, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem/File Photo

The Palestinian electoral commission announced municipal elections will be held in December in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, if Hamas allows the vote to take place in the enclave.

The last municipal vote was held in in the West Bank four years ago, but Hamas have prevented such an election since seizing power in 2007.

"We have set the electoral calendar, but we do not know if Hamas will allow the organization of municipal elections in Gaza," said Farid Taamallah, spokesperson for the electoral commission, an independent body based in Ramallah.

"We are waiting for the Palestinian government to coordinate with Gaza and inform us of what will be decided," he told AFP.

The municipal vote would take place in 387 localities throughout the West Bank and Gaza on December 11, and then in 90 other places at a later date that has yet to be set, Taamallah said.

Of the 477 voting sites, just 11 were in Gaza, he noted.

Refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza would not be affected by the municipal elections because they are managed by UNRWA, a UN agency.

In April, Abbas postponed a legislative and presidential election set for May and July which was to be the first of its kind in 15 years, saying Israel had not provided assurances it would let Palestinians in east Jerusalem participate.

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