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Palestine set for 1st national elections in 14 years

Ending a 14-year spell without elections, this spring and summer Palestinians are set to have three elections – parliamentary, presidential and National Council polls

Ending a 14-year spell without elections, this spring and summer Palestinians are set to have three elections – parliamentary, presidential and National Council polls – under a decree signed by the Palestinian president on Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Under the decree, parliamentary elections will be held on May 22, presidential elections on July 31, and Palestinian National Council elections on Aug. 31.

Mahmoud Abbas did the ceremonial signing of the decree while meeting with Hanna Nasser, chairman of the Central Elections Commission (CEC), at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank, Palestine's official WAFA news agency reported.

Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since Hamas seized the Gaza Strip from its rival in 2007, but last September they met in Turkey and agreed to hold parliamentary and presidential elections.

On Dec. 31, Hamas senior leader Ismail Haniyeh sent Abbas an official letter on ending internal Palestinian division and holding general elections in the Palestinian territories.

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