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Fatah Considering Elections Without Hamas Approval - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Palestinian presidency was surprised on Friday by Egypt’s stand toward Hamas’s request to postpone the signing of the reconciliation agreement and its agreement on postponing the date of the signing, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.

Earlier, Azzam al-Ahmad, official in charge of national relations in the Fatah Movement Central Committee, conveyed to the Egyptian side the movement’s approval of the reconciliation agreement, provided that the signing date would not be postponed and no new words would be introduced to the text.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, alias Abu-Mazin, threatened again to hold legislative and presidential elections in January if no agreement on reconciliation will be reached, in contravention of a provision in the Egyptian paper stipulating that elections will be held in June 2010.

Member of the Fatah Movement Central Committee Muhammad al-Madani told Asharq al-Awsat that his movement is working day and night to lay down proposals on ways to hold elections on the scheduled date in January, in response to Hamas’s repeated attempts to evade reconciliation.

Al-Madani said that his movement will not wait until after 25 October, the final date on which the Palestinian president has to issue a presidential decree to announce a date for legislative elections under the basic law. According to the basic law, such a decree must be issued 100 days before the date of the elections, which is supposed to be 25 January.

In reply to a question on how Fatah will organize elections without approval by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, Al-Madani said the movement is considering day and night ways to hold the elections on schedule. He added that there are several proposals in this regard, but did not mention them.

However, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that one of the proposals calls for holding elections in accordance with the system of proportional representation, as stipulated in the law, on the basis that the homeland is represented by one single list. Therefore, the sources said, elections will be held, and it will be enough for the residents of the West Bank and Jerusalem and the Gazans who reside in the West Bank to vote in order for the results to be endorsed regardless of the percentage of the vote.

The sources continued: “For example, Fatah would choose a list of candidates to the legislative council, consisting of leaders from Gaza and the West Bank, and the West Bank residents can vote for them. The same thing would apply to other factions and the lists of independents who intend to run in the elections.”

However, other sources in Fatah said the movement is trying to pressure Hamas from now until the date of the elections. The sources added that there are proposals under which Abu-Mazin would issue another decree announcing that elections cannot be held. But none of these proposals has been endorsed to date, the sources noted.

Earlier, Abu-Mazin said that he would hold elections in January if the Hamas Movement does not agree on the reconciliation proposal. Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, he added that the basic law stipulates that the elections must be held before24 January 2010.

Abbas said that, according to the Egyptian paper, the elections must be held on 28 June 2010. He added that if agreement is reached with Hamas, this date will be complied with and if no agreement is reached, the basic law will be enforced.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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