RAMALLAH, August 23 (JMCC) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered municipal council elections planned for October postponed, without setting a new date, reports the
The postponement was made on Monday and comes after Hamas criticized the Fateh-dominated Palestinian leadership in the West Bank for proceeding with preparations for the vote, despite a reconciliation deal signed in May between the factions.
Abbas has overstayed his own term and is ruling the West Bank by decree. Municipal elections were initially scheduled for July 2010.
Abbas said Monday that he wanted to make sure elections take place in both Palestinian territories.
We have decided to postpone the local elections until better conditions are available. and to enable the election commission to work in all parts of the country, he said in a decree.
That is the same reason he gave for delaying the voting the last time, from July 9 to Oct. 22. In the meantime, Hamas-Fatah talks on implementing a recent reconciliation pact have stalled.
A senior Hamas official in Gaza agreed that elections should not be held until the reconciliation deal takes effect.
We agreed in the Cairo (reconciliation) agreement that all elections, local and parliamentary, would be held after forming the government, said the official, Ismail Alashkar. We welcome Abbas' decree postponing them.