Sun, February 13, 2011
World > Middle East

Palestinian Authority calls elections before Sept.

2011-02-13 07:59:26 GMT2011-02-13 15:59:26(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

RAMALLAH, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian Authority confirmed on Saturday that it would hold the overdue presidential and legislative elections before September, but Hamas opposed it quickly with a refusal to participate.

The elections were originally scheduled for 2010, but was called off due to conflicts between the two major Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior aide to Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, confirmed the election plan to reporters, adding that the polls were called to "satisfy the will of the Palestinians."

But a Hamas spokesman described the newly-scheduled elections as "invalid and illegal," saying political reconciliation must be achieved within the Palestinians before holding such elections.

According to the results of the last elections in 2006, Abbas, the leader of Fatah, is the president while Hamas is the ruling party in the legislature. Fatah now rules the West Bank while Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.

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