PA Blasted for Failing to Hold Elections

Human rights groups rap the Palestinian Authority leadership for failing to hold parliamentary and presidential elections before a January 25 deadline set by the Basic Law.

According to the Basic Law, Palestinians were to go to polls to choose their favorite parliamentary and presidential candidates on 25 January.

But the deadline was missed amid an ongoing political standoff between the rival factions of Hamas and Fatah.

The al-Marsad Center for Human Rights’ elections and democracy branch on Monday denounced the Palestinian Authority’s failure to hold elections throughout the occupied Palestinian territories within a legal and constitutional timeframe as a violation of the Palestinian people’s right to vote.

The organization called on the Gaza-based Hamas to sign the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation document and demanded a decree from the Palestinian Authority’s leadership for the elections to be held on June 28, as stipulated in the document.

Saying that the mandate for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) expired, the watchdog further urged PLC members to follow former member Hassan Khreisheh to declare expiration of their term as members of Palestine’s legislative body, in absence of new elections.

But the Palestinian parliament speaker and senior Hamas member, Aziz Dweik, rejected the expiration of the PLC mandate.

"The constitution is clear …it says the present PLC membership continues until there will be new elections," Dweik told Press TV correspondent in Ramallah.

Dweik also said he was positive on a "tangible progress" between Hamas and Fatah on the Egyptian paper despite slight differences that remain to be resolved.

The Fatah leaders who have signed the Egyptian-drafted document, however, accuse Hamas of blocking efforts for a national consensus.

"Hamas should first sign the Egyptian paper and then we can hold elections," Fatah Spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi stressed.

Hamas leaders, on the other hand, reject the allegations, saying they have nothing against holding elections but insist on reaching a national consensus prior to the votes.

(Press TV)

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