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Palestinian Parliamentary Elections Delayed
By Staff, Agencies
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas postponed on Friday the planned parliamentary elections amid a dispute over voting in “Israeli”-Occupied East Al-Quds and splits in his Fatah party.
Abbas, 85, confirmed that the apartheid “Israeli” entity is responsible because of the uncertainty about whether it would allow the legislative election to proceed in Al-Quds as well as in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
The decision came three months after he announced the first national elections for 15 years.
"Facing this difficult situation, we decided to postpone the date of holding legislative elections until the participation of Al-Quds and its people is guaranteed," Abbas said in the speech on Palestinian TV.
It was not immediately clear whether a presidential vote scheduled for July would go ahead.
The Palestinian Central Elections Commission said it was suspending the election process following Abbas's decision. The election campaign was supposed to begin on Friday.
Protesters in Gaza and the West Bank called for the elections to proceed as scheduled - for many it would be their first election.
In response, Hamas criticized the reversal.
"We reject this decision which violates the national consensus, and Fatah movement bears responsibility for the consequences of this position," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters.
Internal divisions surfaced in Abbas's Fatah party when jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and Nasser Al-Qudwa - a nephew of the party's late founder Yasser Arafat - announced a rival slate of candidates to run against Abbas's official lineup.
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