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Islamic Jihad may run in PNC elections

Feb. 7, 2013 10:28 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 10, 2013 3:50 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Islamic Jihad may run in Palestinian National Council elections, if its conditions are met, a politburo member said Thursday.

"We are pushing toward arranging the Palestinian arena, and the most important files are the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and the Palestinian National Council elections," Shiekh Nafith Azzam told Ma'an.

"If we agree on the political program and the decision-making mechanism and the structure, this will be a strong impetus to greater unity in the Palestinian front."

Azzan said PNC elections were necessary particularly as the council represents Palestinians in Palestine and in the diaspora. "It also has nothing to do with the Oslo Accords, which we and many factions reject," he added.

The Islamic Jihad leader said the movement had previously discussed the basis of proportional representation, but a consensus had not been reached.

The PNC is the legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which represents Palestinians in exile as well as those in the West Bank and Gaza. The parliament is presently mainly composed of appointees, and has so far excluded Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which were formed since the PLO's establishment in 1964.

The reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah included an agreement to reform the PLO, which has been criticized for failing to represent the whole Palestinian polity.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine official Jamil Mezher said Tuesday that elections for the PNC would be held within six months.

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