Ramallah – Kifah Zboun
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas insists on holding the elections regardless of obstacles and even if “Hamas” backed off, a reliable Palestinian source told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
The elections will be held under any circumstances, even if Hamas changes stance or if the factions failed to reach an agreement in Cairo, according to the same source.
Earlier, during a Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting, Abbas expressed commitment to holding the elections and assured the participation of all factions.
He stressed that it was not acceptable for an advanced country to stay without holding legislative, presidential, and national council elections for this long.
Palestinians are preparing for the first elections in 16 years. The parliamentary elections will be held in May, followed by a presidential vote, after which the voters would go to the polls once again to elect the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Palestinians hope that this would end the division and unite institutions in the West Bank and Gaza, following a pledge by “Fatah” and “Hamas” to participate in the parliament, government, and PLO.
These vows will be put to the test during the Palestinian factions’ meeting to be held in Cairo next week, which will discuss all election-related matters.
Sources said that the elections court is supposed to be formed under a decree issued by the president – before that, the High Judicial Council should recommend nine names (four from Gaza Strip and five from the West Bank).
The obstacle is that the PA and the Council don’t recognize the judicial body formed by Hamas in the Strip. The same scenario applies to security bodies that are supposed to supervise the electoral process.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said that the judicial amendments and establishing new councils are new challenges that might affect the electoral process.
Qassem, however, stressed that there is a will to discuss these issues in Cairo and agree on a unified vision.