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Palestinian PM expresses hope for elections as talks held in Gaza

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh speaks to press in Ramallah, West Bank on 30 July 2019 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh speaks to press in Ramallah, West Bank on 30 July 2019 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh yesterday reaffirmed his support for the proposed elections in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), reported Xinhua.

“I hope that all of us will work for the success of the elections to restore the democratic glow of the Palestinian national institution, both legislative and executive,” Shtayyeh said, in remarks during a speech celebrating National Women’s Day in Ramallah.

However, the appointed premier also used the remarks to attack Hamas.

“Our perspective for internal reconciliation is based on legitimacy; one law, one system, one government, one weapon, and one security man, but unfortunately this perspective is not accepted by the Hamas movement,” Shtayyeh said.

Meanwhile yesterday, Xinhua added, “a high-ranking delegation representing the Palestinian elections commission arrived in the Gaza Strip” for talks with Hamas officials.

Hanna Nasser, president of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, headed the delegation, which also included Hisham Kuhail, executive director of the commission, and Ashraf Al-Shueibi, deputy executive director. The visit is expected to last a few days.

READ: Election delegation arrives in Gaza

As reported by Xinhua, Nasser and his delegation have been charged by President Mahmoud Abbas with heading to the Gaza Strip for talks with Hamas and other factions.

“We want to know their [the factions and civil society groups] position on holding legislative elections that will be followed by the presidential within a short period of time, hoping that the delegation will succeed in their mission,” said Kuhail.

Hamas spokesperson Abdul Latif Al-Qanoua welcomed the visit of the delegation, “adding that Hamas leadership will inform the delegation of their strict position on holding the elections.”

“Before holding the elections, we all need the status of consensus in order to ensure its success,” he said in a press release.

Islamic Jihad, meanwhile, stated that the elections “won’t resolve the internal Palestinian crisis”.

Nafez Azzam, a senior Gaza-based Islamic Jihad leader stated: “Having the Palestinian rivals sitting together to restore unity and protect the Palestinian national principles are more important than holding the elections.”

Abbas is seeking to hold parliamentary elections first, followed – a few months later – by presidential elections.

Hamas, on the other hand, is looking for parliamentary and presidential elections, as well as elections for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)’s National Council, to be held at the same time.

READ: Israel considers halting Palestinian exports and imports

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