Hamas wins al-Bireh, Nablus councils

Hamas has swept the latest round of local Palestinian elections, beating the ruling Fatah to control large city councils in a test of strength ahead of a parliamentary vote.

    Official results are set to be published at the end of the week

    A Palestinian official who helped administer the elections said on Thursday that preliminary results showed that Hamas won control of the councils of Nablus, one of the biggest cities in the West Bank, and al-Bireh, although he did not reveal specific figures.
       
    He said Hamas won about the same number of council seats as Fatah in the town of Jenin, while the ruling party retained control of the city of Ramallah, where the main government and parliamentary offices are located.
       
    Official results for the election are expected to be published at the end of the week.
       
    The Palestinian Centre of Policy and Survey Research said in an earlier projection that Hamas had won 68% of seats in the Nablus city council while Fatah garnered 16%. 

    Poll
        
    The Palestinian poll showed Hamas also won 53% of council seats in the West Bank town of al-Bireh, while Fatah received 27%.

    Fatah retained control of the
    city council in Ramallah

    In Jenin, Hamas garnered 43% of municipal seats, while Fatah and other groups received 42%.
       
    Fatah retained control of the city council in Ramallah, as the poll gave the party a slight edge over Hamas, with 34% and 31% respectively.
       
    Fatah had outstripped Hamas in a previous round of municipal elections in September, gaining control of 51 out of 104 West Bank town councils.

    But Hamas had made a strong showing in the first two rounds of municipal ballots in the West Bank and Gaza. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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