Palestinian Authority sets dates for legislative and presidential elections

Palestinian Authority sets dates for legislative and presidential elections

RAMALLAH (RAHNUMA): The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday announced it will hold its first national elections in more than a decade, in the latest of many attempts to end years of infighting between President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement and his rival Hamas.

Palestinians’ last parliamentary ballot in 2006 resulted in a surprise win by Hamas, widening an internal political rift that led to the group’s seizure of the Gaza Strip in 2007 and contributed to a long delay in setting further elections.

The PA, which has limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, will hold legislative elections on May 22 and a presidential vote on June 31, a decree from Abbas’s office said.

“The President instructed the election committee and all state apparatuses of the state to launch a democratic election process in all cities of the homeland,” the decree said, referring to the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

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