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Palestinian elections to be held in 6 months

June 4, 2014 10:44 P.M. (Updated: June 5, 2014 1:52 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to the head of the Palestinian central elections committee Hanna Nasser on Wednesday requesting that the committee begin work to prepare for elections to be held on December 4.

Abbas said in the letter that the committee should immediately start procedures in preparation for both presidential and legislative polls six months from the date of the letter.

The move comes just after the national unity agreement was formed five weeks after a reconciliation deal was signed between the two largest Palestinian political parties, Hamas and Fatah, on April 23.

Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday also called upon the national unity government to start the preparations for the elections.

In a letter to Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Abbas said that he had trust in the government's capabilities and their cooperation with the central elections committee.

Abbas called on legal experts, institutions and Palestinian youth to support the national unity government and to discuss the requirements of the elections, especially given that Palestine was previously granted observer status in the United Nations.

The elections will be the first since 2006, when Hamas won parliamentary elections, a year before the political split began in 2007.

Previous elections have been held in the West Bank and Gaza, and it was not immediately clear whether the approximately nine million Palestinian refugees living abroad, or Palestinians in Israel, would be eligible to vote in this round.
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