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Report: Abbas to offer January elections
Published Friday 21/10/2011 (updated) 30/10/2011 17:06
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Hundreds rally in Gaza in March 2011 calling for an end to the national division
(MaanImages/Stringer)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas will propose elections in upcoming meetings with Hamas officials, Time Magazine reported on Thursday.

"We're suggesting January, because the law requires 90 days notice," Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh told Time.

The reconciliation agreement signed on May 4 by the president's Fatah party and Hamas set out plan for a unity government of technocrats, the release of political prisoners and holding of elections.

Implementation has stalled as the sides dispute the candidates for the joint government, notably current chief of the Ramallah-based government Salam Fayyad, whom Hamas rejects.

Abu Rudaineh said Abbas would suggest a direct move to elections when he meets with Hamas officials in Egypt in early November. While Abbas is traveling to Cairo on Saturday, he will not have time to meet with Hamas officials until next month, the president told Time.

Abbas has been overshadowed by the recent prisoner swap agreed between Israel and Hamas, which will free over 1,000 prisoners in two months after captured soldier Gilad Shalit returned to Israel on Tuesday.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised Abbas that Israel would release more prisoners in a good will gesture to the president after a deal to release Shalit was concluded, the president told Time.

Abbas said he would ask Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to honor the pledge "within two or three days," though expressing skepticism that the premier would accept.

Abbas insisted: "I'm not going to argue with him or not negotiate with him or to talk in details about it. Either, or."

Long-standing rivalry between the factions erupted into all-out fighting in 2007, after Hamas won elections in 2006 and went on to oust Fatah from the Gaza Strip, effectively splitting from the Palestinian administration in Ramallah.

Local and national elections have been repeatedly postponed over the past five years, as the rivals struggle to agree over terms and accuse each other of suppressing political expression in the areas they govern.
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1 ) NOT OPTIMISTIC / PALESTINIAN
21/10/2011 12:37
maybe they make the PLO democratic.if it is the govt of the palestinian people ALL palestinians should be able to cast their vote.- will they change the voting system to P.R. - i doubt both of them will.

2 ) Promises Kept & / Promises Broken
21/10/2011 14:47

"Palestinian president Abbas claims former PM Ehud Olmert secretly vowed to release larger number of detainees after securing Gilad Shalit's return":
(A) 1,027 is already a Very Large Number,
(B) "That Ship Has Already Sailed", since Olmert is NOT still the PM, and
(C) IF Abbas expects Israel to keep "secretly made vows", then
- ABBAS SHOULD KEEP HIS PUBLIC PROMISES FIRST, & start work towards
- A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT to the conflict,
- rather than his UN Bid !!!


3 ) BEN JABO / ISRAEL
21/10/2011 15:33
WRITTEN PROMISE ALLEGED ORAL PROMISE
Abbas should keep the one that Arafat, his predecessor made at Oslo, which was in writing,
to remove the clause from the PLO Charter, calling for the destruction of Israel, it is still there !

On one hand we have a promise in writing that's been ignored; while Abbas wants what he say's is an alleged oral promise, to be kept

Any Legal Eagle can tell you "Verbal Doesn't Go", among the Arabs, Arafat's written promise doesn't go either

4 ) Jad / Ramallah
21/10/2011 17:46
Hamas will say NO, they know they will lose any upcoming elections.

5 ) Nada / Ramallah
21/10/2011 17:55
yes hamas should agree, coz w r tired of both hamas and fatah.

6 ) Johnny / USA
21/10/2011 19:08
Abbas is an idiot-- the palestinains got/are getting 1,027 prisoners back in exchange for shalit. that is the promise fulfilled.

7 ) southparkbear / usa
21/10/2011 21:12
has he committed to a decade?

8 ) southparkbear / usa
22/10/2011 01:43
#1 i can share with you a secret who will win the election.
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