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Hamas won't replace Abbas with Gaza-based leader
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11:36, December 14, 2008

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Hamas on Saturday denied intention to appoint a Gaza-based leader as a Palestinian president but reiterated it will not recognize Mahmoud Abbas as a president when his term ends in January.

There is no intention to appoint Ahmed Bahar, deputy speaker o fthe Palestinian parliament, as president, said Salah al-Bardaweel, a spokesman for the Islamic movement.

"But after Jan. 9, Abbas' term would have been expired and Dr. Aziz al-Dewik, the jailed speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) would act as a president for 60 days during which elections must be held," al-Bardaweel explained.

Hamas has previously hinted that it will replace Abbas with Bahar, who is based in the Hamas-controlled Gaza as temporary president since Israel holds al-Dewik.

But Abbas, who's Fatah Movement has locked in fierce power struggle against Hamas, rejected to quit. Relying on a law amendment that the PLC did not ratify, Abbas has said he can stay in office for an additional year to let presidential elections take place along with the legislative elections in 2010.

To extend Abbas' term, al-Bardaweel says a comprehensive dialogue should comprise Hamas and Fatah "to come up with a package deal."

Last month, Hamas thwarted an Egyptian bid to reconcile it with Fatah.

Source: Xinhua



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