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Speaker calls to reconvene parliament before election

Feb. 1, 2013 10:34 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 3, 2013 9:09 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The speaker of the defunct Palestinian parliament, Aziz Dweik, said Friday that the legislative body should resume work before any new national election.

The Palestinian Legislative Council has not sat since Hamas and Fatah violently split Palestine into separate governments in 2007.

A reconciliation deal between the parties, signed in 2011, received a fresh push in January, and the electoral oversight body is set to start work in Gaza later this month.

But Dweik, who is affiliated to Hamas, said reconciliation would not be properly implemented without holding joint sessions of the PLC members in Gaza and the West Bank in order to discuss election rules.

He said the parliament was "the first victim of the split" between Hamas and Fatah.

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