(3 Nov 2019) LEAD IN :
Hamas and other members of Gaza’s political factions have met with the head of the Central Elections Commission to discuss upcoming elections.
The last parliamentary poll was held in 2006.
Hamas chief Ismael Haniyeh arrives for talks, along with members of Gaza’s political factions.
This is the second round election talks in Gaza in less than a week.
Hanna Nasser is the head of the Central Elections Commission, the body which administers Palestinian elections.
And part of his role is to negotiate with the militant group on a future ballot.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for parliamentary elections, but Haniyeh wants both legislative and presidential votes, which he says Abbas has now agreed to.
“We received an answer from brother Dr. Hanna that from brother Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) that he agreed (the President) to hold the legislative and presidential elections. This position is the basis of a joint position that will work, God willing,” says Haniyeh.
Haniyeh wants the elections to be held in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
“Elections are also a challenge. The elections we want should be held in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza. Palestinians will not accept less than this,” he says.
“We confirmed that the elections should be a comprehensive one, starting with presidential and legislative to eventually reach the point of holding a Palestinian National council vote.”
Nasser says progress is being made towards an election but there are still obstacles to overcome.
“Really the main obstacle is Jerusalem and we all have to work together, the Hamas movement, the Fatah movement and all political factions, to achieve Palestinian unity and facilitate all obstacles until we duly hold elections in Jerusalem.”
Hamas won the 2006 parliamentary elections and seized Gaza by force the following year, separating it politically from the West Bank.
No parliamentary elections have been held since and numerous reconciliation pacts between Hamas and rivals Fatah have failed.
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