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The New Arab

Hamas calls on Abbas to follow through with election plan

Hamas are confident they will win the next Palestinian election [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 October, 2019

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Hamas has called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to follow through with plans to hold national elections.
Hamas said on Thursday that it is ready to hold elections if they were to take place "without disruption".

Khalil al-Hayya, deputy leader of the Gaza-based group, told al-Aqsa TV that Hamas will be willing to participate in Palestinian elections if they were to take place.

He called on Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas, whose presidency expired in 2009,  to hold a national meeting to prepare for a democratic process to take place.

Earlier this month, Abbas said he would discuss plans for new parliamentary elections with all factions, including longtime rivals Hamas – without giving a timeline.

At the time, he said he formed committees to "communicate with the election commission and factions such as Hamas and all factions, as well as with the Israeli authorities".

He said any elections should take place in "the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip".

Abbas has not yet followed through with holding a national dialogue.

Read more: Abbas calls for elections, but will they be held?

Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads since 2007, when the Islamists seized Gaza and threw out Abbas's forces, which retained control of the internationally recognised Palestinian government based in the West Bank.

No parliamentary elections have been held since 2006, with the two sides trading blame.

Multiple attempts at reconciliation have failed and analysts say new elections are impossible without improved relations.

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