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Gaza factions reject PA call to hold local elections

September 21, 2021 at 10:01 am

Officials are seen at Central Election Commission building after Palestinian authorities on Saturday opened registration for the legislative elections, scheduled for May 22, in Gaza City, Gaza on March 20, 2021 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian factions in the besieged Gaza Strip have rejected the Palestinian Authority’s call to hold municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, months after PA President Mahmoud Abbas cancelled legislative and presidential elections.

The Palestinian Freedom Movement described the government’s call to hold municipal elections without consensus as “an insistence” on dominating the political scene in Palestine and belittling the Palestinian people and the community.

“How could we believe that the head of the PA [Mahmoud Abbas] wants elections when he has turned against national efforts and cancelled the elections that were scheduled to take place last May, and now he is dividing the elections for abhorrent partisan interests,” the movement said in a statement.

It went on to describe the announcement as an attempt by Abbas to occupy the Palestinian arena and portray to the world that he wants to achieve democracy.

READ: Hamas holds consultations on proposed municipal elections

“The elections are a national and popular demand, but not in the form and method that Mahmoud Abbas wants. The elections must include the National, Legislative Council and Presidential, then move to the municipal councils on the basis of consensus.”

“Guarantees of their integrity and respect for their results,” must also be given, it added.

For its part, the Mujahideen Movement stressed the need for national consensus on national issues and to stop the policy of exclusion.

“We must start from the fact that we are in a stage of national liberation during which we need everyone’s efforts and the energies of all patriots to remove the occupation as a priority in the current stage,” it added.

The Popular Resistance Committees considered the PA’s call for local elections “a disregard for the Palestinian national situation and all components of the Palestinian people who call for comprehensive elections.”