Elections Commission Can Reopen Gaza Offices

Hamas on Monday rejected criticism that it had failed to open the Central Election Commission’s headquarters in Gaza.

CEC chairman Hanna Nasir said Monday that the Hamas-run government had not reopened elections offices in the Gaza Strip despite pledging to do so two weeks ago.

The Interior Ministry in Gaza responded in a statement that no official had visited the office.

"The CEC can open its headquarters anytime," the Hamas-run ministry said.

The West Bank and Gaza have been divided under separate governments since 2007 when Hamas took control of Gaza.

Hamas won the last elections, which were held in 2006, but the party’s rivalry with Fatah has paralyzed legislative and electoral processes and a new vote is overdue. Electoral records in the Gaza Strip have not been updated since 2006.

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement last May and agreed to hold presidential and legislative elections within one year, a pledge party leaders reiterated in November.

Factions also agreed to form a joint government of technocrats to oversee the vote, but Hamas and Fatah spared over who should lead the administration and it has yet to established.

(Ma’an News)

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