Palestinian FM insists on holding elections in January 2009-07-19 00:14:08   Print

    RAMALLAH, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Saturday said general elections must be held in January without any delay.

    "The elections must be carried out in their due time, January 25th next year, as a constitutional right that can never be played with," Fayyad told reporters.

    Fayyad's remarks were made as Hamas rejected holding any kind of elections before it completes reconciliation with President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party.

    Delegations from Hamas and Fatah are meeting on Saturday in Cairo to continue talks on reconciliation and on restoring political unity to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the Fatah-ruled West Bank.

    "Today, we are renewing the Palestinian National Authority (PNA)'s commitment to ending the split and restoring unity to our territories and our institutions," Fayyad said.

    The split between Hamas and Fatah fleshed out in June 2007 when Hamas, which won the parliamentary elections in 2006, routed pro-Abbas forces and seized control of the Gaza Strip.

    In Cairo, the Palestinian factions talk about forming a unity government which includes Hamas and Fatah and holding elections in January to boost reconciliation.

    But Salah al-Bardaweel, a Hamas leader, has recently said Hamas will not accept the elections to be held before reconciliation is reached.

Editor: Yan
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