Electoral register in Gaza Strip to be updated: Hamas official
Hamas Political Bureau chief Khaled Meshaal (R) and acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas (file photo)
Islam Times - The head of the Central Elections Commission (CEC) in the Gaza Strip says election officials will begin work on updating the electoral register in the Palestinian territory on Monday.
Jamil Khaldi said on Sunday that work would only begin on May 28 after the arrival of a delegation headed by his counterpart, Hanna Nasser, from the West Bank.
Khaldi made the remarks despite a May 20 announcement by Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior official from the Fatah movement, that the electoral commission would start its work “on May 27 in the Gaza Strip.”
“Nothing will happen today. The CEC delegation led by Hanna Nasser will arrive in Gaza on Monday and we will all have a meeting with (Hamas) Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Immediately afterwards, we will start our work,” Khaldi stated.
On May 20, Azzam al-Ahmed signed an Egyptian-mediated agreement with Moussa Abu Marzouq, deputy of Hamas Political Bureau chief Khaled Meshaal, in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The two sides agreed to “launch consultations to set up a (Palestinian) government of independents” in addition to beginning the work of the electoral commission in Gaza.
Major Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on May 4, 2011, which provides the creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government.
The creation of such a Palestinian government has been stalled over the past months due to several issues, mainly the position of prime minister.
On February 5, Khaled Meshaal and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, who also serves as the acting Palestinian Authority chief, discussed the formation of a Palestinian unity government during a meeting in the Qatari capital, Doha.
The two sides announced on February 6 their agreement to a Qatari proposal that recommends Abbas as the prime minister of the future unity government.
Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said on Sunday that there was no exact “date as to when the discussions about the new government will start.”
The electoral register in Gaza has not been updated since 2006, the last time the Palestinian Legislative Council held elections.
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