Palestinians to hold elections in July, Hamas opposes

Posted By: Bno
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RAMALLAH: The Palestinian Legislative Council announced on Tuesday that municipal elections will be held on July9 in the West Bank for the first time since 2006, Palestine News Network reported.

Initially, the decision was to hold the elections simultaneously in both the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad movement, however, oppose the elections unless a national reconciliation agreement is reached between Hamas and the ruling Fatah party.

Elections were scheduled to be held last year on July 17, but were cancelled after Fatah failed to name its candidates by the nomination deadline and Hamas refused to participate.

The conflict between the two parties reached a head in 2006, a year after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was elected, when Hamas won legislative polls and foreign aid was suspended by the United States, Israel, and many Arab states.

Hamas movement ended months of bloody fighting with Abbas' Fatah party in June 2007 by taking over the Gaza Strip, leaving Abbas in control of the West Bank.

Abbas and the Hamas-dominated parliament remain in power despite the fact that their terms have expired. Palestinian civil society organizations took the case before the Palestinian Supreme Court, which ruled last month that the PA must set a new date for election.


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