Palestinian Factions Shocked at Abbas Conditions for Elections

Palestinian factions have expressed their shock at the conditions set by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and PLO President, for elections to take place, Al-Mujtama reported on Wednesday.

After shuttling between the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and holding meetings with representatives of the factions and NGOs, the head of the Palestinian Elections Committee, Hanna Nasser, made his recommendations to Abbas.

Nasser has told the press on several occasions that his feeling was that the elections would take place very soon, following smooth discussions and remarkable concessions made by the different factions in order to facilitate the polls.

However, he returned to the Palestinian factions and NGOs with a shocking reply from Abbas. The PA President, he said, insists on laying down the guidelines and conditions for the elections by presidential decree.

Abbas rejected the idea of holding a national summit prior to the elections in order to set out the guidelines which would regulate the electoral process.

Both the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, expressed disappointment at Abbas’s response. All elections, they stressed, should take place on the basis of a national agreement.

According to the Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Mustafa Al-Barghouti, the Palestinian division must be ended as quickly as possible, and elections could do this. However, there must be a consensus across the nation. Without this, there would be no democratic elections, he said.

Source: Palestine Chronicle