Palestine October poll only in West Bank

2011-07-27 18:45
Ramallah - Palestinian local elections in October will only be held in the West Bank as Hamas is hampering preparations in Gaza, a senior electoral official said on Wednesday.

Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, the official said the government had informed the Central Elections Commission (CEC) of a decision taken earlier on Wednesday.

"The elections committee was informed today by the government that it had decided to hold municipal elections only in the West Bank on October 22," he said.

An official government statement was expected during the evening.

The issue was the subject of a special cabinet session earlier on Wednesday after the CEC sent a letter to say it was proving impossible to prepare for elections in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, the official said.

"We sent a letter to the government to say we cannot work in Gaza to prepare for the elections.

"Until now, Hamas has prevented the elections committee from doing its work in Gaza. Our staff cannot work because our offices are closed and they have confiscated our cars," he said.

There was no immediate reaction from Hamas.

Deal made

Local elections had originally been scheduled for July 9 but following a surprise reconciliation deal between Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas' Fatah movement and the rival Hamas which was signed in early May, the date was put back to October 22.

At the time, local development minister Khaled al-Qawasmeh said the decision was taken on the advice of the CEC, which said it would have been unable to organise simultaneous elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by July.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip are separated by Israeli territory. The coastal strip is ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement, while the West Bank is under the Palestinian Authority, which is controlled by the secular Fatah movement. The two groups have been locked in a bitter dispute for years.

The dispute boiled over in 2007, a year after Hamas won a surprise victory in legislative elections, culminating in street battles between the two groups in Gaza.

Hamas wrested control of the strip from Fatah, leaving Abbas's party to run a parallel government unable to extend control beyond the West Bank.

In late April, the sides announced that they were ending their fight and would jointly appoint a caretaker government of independent delegates to prepare for general elections within a year.

But efforts to implement the unexpected deal have so far led nowhere, with each side blaming the other for an impasse reportedly caused by a disagreement between Fatah and Hamas over who will be interim prime minister.

The last time the Palestinians went to the polls was for parliamentary elections in 2006, which Hamas won by a landslide.

New parliamentary and presidential elections had been due to be held in January 2010 but the Palestinian Authority abandoned efforts to hold a vote after Hamas refused to organise one in Gaza.

- SAPA
Read more on:    hamas  |  fatah  |  mahmoud abbas  |  palestine  |  middle east peace
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.