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Al-Ahmad: Abbas considering holding elections

Jan. 30, 2011 10:23 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 1, 2011 1:02 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad said Sunday that President Mahmoud Abbas was looking into holding presidential and legislative elections despite the national division.

Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah, Al-Ahmad said a meeting would be held Monday to discuss holding elections.

Fatah would support a government decision to hold elections, he said.

The PA called off elections in June 2010, just weeks ahead of a planned vote. Officials said the sudden decision stemmed from the refusal of Hamas officials in Gaza to partake in the vote, a decision taken as early as March.

Critics accused the PA of pushing a Fatah agenda, and said the Fatah-led government canceled elections over fears the party would lose, as leftist parties gained popularity in the polls.

In December 2010, the Palestinian High Court found the postponement of elections illegal, and said all efforts must be made to ensure that they were held as soon as possible.

On 21 December the Palestinian Authority Cabinet in Ramallah authorized the Minister of Local Government to start the process of setting a new date for elections.

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