Hamas declines Abbas’s request for parliamentary elections in Gaza

Hamas declines Abbas’s request for parliamentary elections in Gaza

GAZA, March 7 (Xinhua) — Islamic Hamas movement Thursday said it declined a request by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to hold parliamentary elections.

Election should either be the way toward the national unity, or a result of a national reconciliation and implementation of signed agreements that call for the formation of a new government, said Khalil al-Hayyah, a senior Hamas leader, at a press conference.

The press conference was held after the meeting between Hanna Nasser, head of Central Elections Committee, and Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas chief in Gaza Strip.

Al-Hayyah said that Nasser presented the message from Abbas to go for parliamentary election, saying that his movement supports elections and peaceful power transfer, which they regard as the only natural door to the democratic experience.

Nasser arrived in Gaza after holding a meeting with Abbas in West Bank Ramallah city last week.

Abbas announced on Dec. 22 last year that the Palestinian constitutional court has ordered “the dissolving of the Palestinian legislative council and called for holding parliamentary elections within six months.”

The Palestinian Legislative Council remained inoperative since the start of the internal Palestinian division when Hamas movement had violently seized control of the Gaza Strip and routed the security forces of President Abbas in 2007.

The last presidential election was held in 2005, where Abbas was elected and succeeded late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The last parliamentary elections were held in January 2006, where Hamas movement won an overwhelming majority in the Palestinian Authority parliament.

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