The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has slammed the Palestinian Authority for establishing a new court to look into issues related to local elections, Safa news agency reported on Tuesday. In a press release, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that, according to article 10 of the Local Elections Law 2005, the Court of First Instance is the only institution which is entitled to look into issues related to such elections.
Hamas pressed home this point after the PA ministerial council chaired by Rami Al-Hamadallah approved a bill at its weekly meeting calling for the elections court to be set up. According to the PA, this court will look into all crimes and legal issues related to the elections in local districts. It pointed out that the bill was sent to PA President Mahmoud Abbas for a decree to be issued.
Last year, the Palestinian Central Elections Commission cancelled local elections planned to take place in October. The PA took the decision to postpone the elections for four months.
These moves were made after the PA High Court cancelled the elections in Gaza under the pretext of not recognising the courts which cancelled a number of electoral lists. Prior to the High Court decision, the courts in several cities in the Gaza Strip cancelled Fatah’s electoral lists due to legal violations by the nominees on the lists.