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Hamas leader: Fatah plans electoral fraud
Published Monday 02/07/2012 (updated) 04/07/2012 09:50
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas leader Mahmud Zahhar on Monday defended his party's decision to suspend voter registration in the Gaza Strip, accusing Fatah of planning electoral fraud.

Zahhar told Voice of Palestine radio that Fatah planned to commit election fraud, adding that the Central Elections Commission was dominated by Fatah members, effectively allowing the party to supervise the electoral process.

The CEC was due to start registering voters in Gaza on Tuesday but Hamas suspended its work on Monday.

Zahhar also said there had been an increase in summons and arrests of Hamas members in the Fatah-run West Bank and that security forces of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority were preventing Hamas meetings.

Hamas must be allowed to operate freely in the West Bank, Zahhar said.

Earlier Monday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said a security crackdown in the West Bank meant Hamas members could not register to vote or monitor the election commission's work.

"We are still committed to reconciliation and to holding elections but aggressive security measures in the West Bank would lead to an election outcome favoring (Fatah)," he said.

Ahmed Assaf, a Fatah spokesman in the West Bank, accused Hamas of retreating from an Egyptian-brokered unity deal signed in May 2011.

"It means Hamas did not want an election to be held and did not want to move ahead toward reconciliation," Assaf said.

Fatah also accuses Hamas of holding members of the group in its Gaza jails. Disputes over political detentions by both sides have plagued efforts at unity.

Reuters contributed to this report
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1 ) Mitri I. Musleh / Canada
02/07/2012 19:26
Why don’t the political parties of Fatah and Hamas resign and let the Palestinian people decide on their next step of action?

2 ) ABE / USA
02/07/2012 19:35
To me, the truth is that Hamas knows they will lose the next election and they like being in power!!

3 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
02/07/2012 20:21
Hamas to Fatah: "When are you going to free our political PRISONERS as you PROMISED ??? !!!" ... Fatah to Hamas: "When our unification is COMPLETE, like YOU PROMISED !!! How can we if you DELAY voter registration ??? !!!" ... Hamas to Fatah: "Because YOU are planning ELECTION FRAUD !!! You expect us to allow voter registration when the CEC is DOMINATED by YOU !!! ??? !!! ... Fatah to Hamas: "You're DEVIATING from the Egyptian-brokered deal A YEAR AGO !!! ... and the pathetic farce goes on.

4 ) WAS / UK
02/07/2012 22:50
3 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel Couldn't have put it better myself and I am normally against all your views.

5 ) Wart / Zahar's Nose
03/07/2012 03:25
I should have my own vote.

6 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
03/07/2012 21:12
@ 4) WAS/UK, Todah rabbah (that's Hebrew pronunciation for "Thank you very much"). I'm glad you're speaking the honest truth (about the Fatah/Hamas reconciliation circus) as I always try to do. Although you're normally against me on other issues, I commend you for having the decency to call it like it is regarding this Palestinian political insanity. If Yasser Arafat were alive, he'd sure as hell agree.
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