RAMALLAH, West Bank, (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday he would call for early elections despite Hamas’s rejection of the plan. “We will call … for early legislative and presidential elections and we will not wait for approval from those sitting over there in Gaza or from those sitting abroad,” Abbas told a decision-making forum of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
The 115-member Palestinian Central Committee (PCC) was scheduled to endorse Abbas’s motion by Thursday. “Hamas dug their grave with their own nails as a result of the crimes they carried out in Gaza. They brought upon themselves their loss of legitimacy,” Abbas told the PCC, referring to Hamas’s takeover of Gaza last month.
Abbas, who told reporters earlier in the West Bank town of Ramallah that he planned to issue a decree for parliamentary and presidential elections, did not say when either poll — currently scheduled for 2010 — might be held.
The head of the secular Fatah faction, Abbas, dissolved a Hamas-led unity government after the Gaza crisis last month. Hamas, which crushed Fatah in legislative elections last year, has rejected an early election and Abbas’s new administration.
Hamas has tried to enter rapprochement talks with Abbas, but he has ruled this out.