Fatah-Hamas Meet Again in Cairo to Discuss Elections

photo: AA

Ramallah, MINA – Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas will hold a new round of talks on Tuesday in the Egyptian capital to push for plans for the upcoming general elections.

The meeting announced will be held more than a month after the two factions agreed on Cairo talks on a “mechanism” for elections, Nahar Net reported.

Parliamentary and presidential elections are set for May 22 and July 31, respectively. It will be the first Palestinian election in 15 years.

Hamas, blacklisted as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States, won a landslide victory in the last election in 2006, a victory that President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah did not recognize.

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That led to bloody clashes the following year and a split in Palestinian rule.

Fatah has since run the Palestinian Authority in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Hamas has held power in the Gaza Strip since 2007, the year Israel imposed a devastating blockade on the coastal enclave.

To avoid a repeat of the tensions and violence that erupted in 2009, the two groups met in Cairo in February and agreed on a series of steps, including setting up an “electoral court” to oversee the vote.

They also expressed their commitment to respect the results of the forthcoming vote.

On Tuesday, in Cairo the two sides will discuss “major issues related to the elections,” said Hamas official Khalil al-Khalil.

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“After the legislative elections, we want to form a national unity government and we prefer to reach consensus on only one national candidate for the presidential election,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abbas’s Spokesman stressed that the President of the Palestinian Authority is determined to see through the elections despite tensions within Fatah itself.

Last week, Fatah expelled prominent member Nasser Al-Kidwa from the movement after he announced he would run for president of Palestine in what was seen as an insult to Abbas.

Kidwa is the nephew of the late Palestinian iconic leader Yasser Arafat. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)