Palestinian poll delay recommended

Electoral body informs Mahmoud Abbas about its inability to organise polls on January 24.

    It is now up to Abbas to act on the recommendation and decide whether to delay the polls [AFP]

    "We have informed the president that due to technical reasons we are not able to hold elections."

    Failed pact

    Abbas had ordered for the polls to be held on January 24 after a reconciliation pact between his Fatah faction and the Hamas failed to materialise.

    in depth

      Netanyahu outmanoeuvres Obama?
      Netanyahu 'speaks like a conqueror'
      Wanted: Middle East statesmen
      Settlements strain US-Israel ties
      US Jews and Israelis split on Obama
      Arab media judge Mitchell tour

    In response to the Election Commission announcement, Abbas's spokesman said: "The ban Hamas imposed on the Elections Commission from entering Gaza to undertake the necessary steps to carry out elections is evidence that Hamas does not value the unity of the homeland nor national reconciliation.

    "In light of this development, President Mahmoud Abbas will take the necessary decision, after consulting with the [Palestinian] institutions and the basic law," he said.

    Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said: "The Electoral Commission's recommendation to postpone the upcomming January elections was expected because we lack the right conditions.

    "This displays the correct stance that the Hamas movement took by not supporting any election before we reach any solution on national reconciliation.

    "Holding an election during a political separation will only increase the separation."

    'Unconstitutional'

    The election decree stipulated that the polls must be held in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and also in Gaza.

    But Hamas dubbed the president's decree as unconstitutional because his own mandate had run out in January.

    If the polls are not delayed, candidates would have to submit nominations by November 14.

    Abbas has already said that he will not run for the presidency again, citing a lack of progress in peace talks with Israel.

    Nour Odeh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in the occupied West Bank, said: "Abbas is in a very tough position, but I don't know if it will reflect on him personally. Everyone in the nation knows that this was not going to be easy.

    "The hope of course was that the Palestinian factions would sign the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal and then there would be no problem."

    There is deep hostility between Fatah, that effectively rules the occupied West Bank, and Hamas, which took full control of Gaza after forcing out security forces loyal to Abbas in 2007.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.