Friday, December 23, 2005

Palestinian factions urge no vote delays

From ABC News On Line Friday, December 23, 2005. 9:48am (AEDT) ...

Hamas and 10 other Palestinian factions have urged President Mahmoud Abbas not to delay parliamentary elections any further, even if Israel bans voting in Arab East Jerusalem.
Israel's refusal to allow East Jerusalem's Palestinians to vote on January 25 has drawn calls from some officials for a postponement.

A delay could suit Mr Abbas's divided Fatah movement very well, but not Hamas as it rides a surge of popularity.

Israel opposes participation by Hamas, a militant group sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state.

The Palestinian Government-run WAFA news agency quotes Mr Abbas as saying he wants the vote held on time and for East Jerusalem's Palestinians to be allowed to take part in it. Foreign donors have been pushing for the long-delayed parliamentary ballot to strengthen democracy but they are also wary of Hamas doing very well.

...Senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath says "we cannot hold elections anywhere if the Palestinians in Jerusalem are not allowed to vote".
- Reuters

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