Hamas, CEC agree on holding non-synchronized general elections



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Gaza Post


   Hamas movement and the Palestinian Central Elections Commission team agreed on holding non-synchronized general elections in the Palestinian Territories, a copy of the agreement said Tuesday.


   A copy of the agreement, that was sent to reporters is written in Arabic language and was leaked to local media outlets in the Gaza Strip and published by various local news websites.


   Hamas Politburo Chief Ismail Haniyeh signed on the agreement on behalf of the Gaza-based Palestinian factions and Hanna Nasser signed on behalf of the central elections commission.


   “The factions, who will join the elections do not mind holding legislative and presidential elections at this stage even if they are not synchronized so that the period between them does not exceed three months,” said the agreement.


   Nasser chaired a delegation of the Central Elections Commission that arrived in the Gaza Strip on Sunday night and has left back to the West Bank on Tuesday to present the signed agreement to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.


   Hamas leaders in Gaza said in various remarks that their movement is ready to join the elections, where Hamas movement placed billboards in the main streets saying “we are ready” in reference to joining the elections.


   Abbas insists that the Palestinian legislative or parliamentary elections must be held first and after a few months, presidential elections will be held in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.


   Before the visit of CEC delegation to Gaza, Hamas leaders insisted that general elections have to be synchronized and must include parliamentary, presidential and the National Council of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).


   Last parliamentary elections were held in the Palestinian territories in 2006, where Hamas won a majority, while presidential elections were held in 2005, and President Abbas was elected the president of the Palestinian Authority.


   Palestinian observers believe that if both Abbas and Hamas agree on holding the parliamentary elections and after three months of presidential elections are held, that would end 13 years of an internal Palestinian division.