Fatah-Hamas Welcomes Palestinian National Election

Ramallah, MINA – The Palestinian movement Fatah and the Islamic movement Hamas in Gaza welcomes the decision issued by President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday that set a date for national elections in Palestine.

The decree sets on May 22 for the legislative election and July 31 for the presidential election, while elections for the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) are planned for August 31, Wafa reported on Saturday.

Fatah considered in its written statement that the decision is “an expression of the will of the Palestinian people and the result of responsible national instruction, dialogue and efforts in which national interests triumph over factionalism.”

Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasmi said the Palestinian people were going through a historic phase and it is important to end a series of divisions over the past 13 years and establish a new stage that marks unity and partnership.

He stressed that elections are the gateway to ending national divisions.

Qawasmi said the next stage would be an in-depth national dialogue to discuss all the details of the decision.

The Gaza-based Hamas movement, which controls the sea enclave since winning elections in July 2007 leading to prolonged division, has also welcomed the decision on this general election.

It said in an official statement that it is very interested in seeing this election succeed in the interests of the Palestinian people.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said his party emphasized the importance of creating a climate for free and transparent elections in which voters can vote without any pressure or restriction with fairness and transparency.

“We emphasize the importance of completing the electoral process in Jerusalem, at home and abroad to rebuild the Palestinian political system and agree on a comprehensive national strategy to confront the Zionist occupation,” he said.

Several other Palestinian political factions also welcomed the issuance of the decree.

The last legislative elections were held in January 2006 and presidential elections were held in March 2005. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)