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Haniyeh invites elections commission to Gaza

Jan. 24, 2013 3:16 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 25, 2013 4:09 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday invited the Central Elections Commission to the Gaza Strip, a government spokesman said.

Haniyeh phoned CEC chief Hanna Nasser and invited him to bring a delegation to Gaza to discuss updating the electoral roll, Taher al-Nunu said in a statement.

Al-Nunu said the invitation came in line with agreements reached between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo earlier in January.

"The Gaza government hopes other terms of the agreement will be implemented as agreed in Cairo a few days ago."

Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal and Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas met recently in Cairo and agreed to set a timetable to implement the May 2011 reconciliation deal to form a unity government that will oversee elections.

The party leaders agreed that the CEC would resume work updating the voter registry in Gaza by the end of January.

The electoral roll has not been updated in Gaza since the last local elections were held in January 2005.

In July 2012, Hamas suspended the CEC's work a day before it was due to begin registering voters in Gaza, citing the continued arrest of Hamas members in the West Bank and its questions over the commission's impartiality.

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