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Abbas decree doesn't ban Hamas from running in elections: source
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21:23, August 15, 2007

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A source at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office denied on Wednesday media reports that Abbas' decree was banning rival Hamas movement from running in future elections.

"What was circulated in this regard is untrue," the source said on condition anonymity, affirming that Abbas' decree didn't prevent Hamas from participating in the elections.

However, the decree adjusted the electoral law in a way to secure that all candidates abide by the moderate program of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), said the source.

Hamas, which won the 2006 parliamentary elections and came onto power, doesn't recognize the PLO platform, which recognizes the existence of Israel.

Hamas, committed in Israel's destruction, has refused to accept the three conditions set by the International Quartet -- recognizing Israel, renouncing armed resistance and accepting previous peace deals.

The Palestinian territories is undergoing a deep crisis after Hamas took the Gaza Strip on June 14 following days of bloody fighting with Fatah, which prompted Abbas to dismiss the Hamas-led coalition government and appoint a new one based in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

As a result, the geographically-divided Palestinian territories have been politically split into two parts -- with Hamas controlling Gaza and Fatah holding the West Bank.

Abbas has also said he would "use the constitutional authorities to issue special decrees of early presidential and parliamentary polls."

Earlier on Monday, PLO executive committee member Ghassan al- Shak'a said that early elections could be held within six months.

Yet Hamas, which enjoyed a majority of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was opposed to the idea of holding early elections.

Source: Xinhua

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