Hamas Sets Preconditions for PA Elections

The Islamic Hamas movement has announced its preconditions for the Palestinian Authority (PA) elections scheduled for January 2010.

In a press statement on Monday, Sami Abu Zuhri, the movement’s spokesman in Gaza, said that one of the conditions for holding the elections in the Palestinian territories on time, is to hold "in parallel" elections of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Xinhua reported.

The PNC is the Palestinian parliament-in-exile, made up of more than 600 members from both the Palestinian territories and other Palestinians living around the world.

"Releasing 800 Hamas prisoners in prisons of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is also a condition for holding the elections in January next year," said Sami Abu Zuhri, who also called for forming "elections court and a new central elections committee."

The lifting of the two-year-long Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip, the reconstruction of the damage caused by the Israeli attacks on the enclave and the release of Hamas ministers and lawmakers in Israeli jails since 2006 were the additional Hamas conditions.

Hamas made its offer as Egyptian-brokered negotiations between the movement and Fatah seem to be making little progress.

The two sides have discussed forming a transitional government until election time in 2010, but serious differences over the security arrangements and electoral systems continue to divide the factions.

(Press TV)

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