Hamas calls for boycotting municipal elections

10:26, March 08, 2010      

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Islamic Hamas movement on Sunday urged Palestinians to boycott municipal elections which the Palestinian government decided to hold in July.

Justifying the call, Ahmed Bahar, deputy speaker of the Hamas- dominated Palestinian parliament, said the decision to hold polls "was taken unilaterally and would deepen rift and boost separation. "

On Saturday, the Central Elections Commission (CEC) started registering eligible voters for the local elections that are supposed to be held in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Bahar said the electoral register began "without professional, wise consideration of the national and public interest," accusing the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) of organizing elections " for factional considerations."

Hamas seized most of Palestinian municipal councils during local elections in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, Hamas scored landslide victory in parliamentary elections.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, doesn't recognize the West Bank- based government of Salam Fayyad. Since Hamas routed security forces of President Mahmoud Abbas and ousted his Fatah movement in 2007, political unity between Gaza and the West Bank has been interrupted.

Source: Xinhua

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