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Haniyeh meets elections commission chief

Jan. 30, 2013 6:15 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 1, 2013 9:35 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Central Elections Commission chief Hanna Nasser met Wednesday with Hamas premier Ismail Haniyeh and agreed to begin preparing for a vote in the Gaza Strip.

At a news conference after the meeting, Nasser told reporters that most obstacles to preparing for elections had been resolved.

The CEC will coordinate with the Ministry of Education to use schools to update the voter registry in Gaza.

Gaza government spokesman Taher al-Nunu said the electoral body would set a date to update the electoral roll.

The Hamas-led government has instructed the ministries of interior and education to cooperate with the CEC and facilitate its work, al-Nunu said.

Once the voter registry is updated, the CEC will prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections and a vote for the PLO Palestinian National Council, he added.

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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