GAZA, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement will pick a new chief of its politburo through internal elections this month to succeed current leader Khaled Mashaal, a Hamas official said Sunday.
"We will elect a new chief this month under a new electoral system," Hamas senior member Salah al-Bardawil told Xinhua.
Earlier last year, Mashaal, who has been in office since 1996, announced that he will not run for a new term in line with Hamas' internal regulations. Yet, according to well-placed sources at Hamas, the Shura Council, which is the highest decision-making body in the movement, wants Mashaal to continue in his post, most likely owing to changes in the Middle East by popular uprisings.
As for the new electoral system, Hamas Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Zaza said that every member of the Shura Council can nominate any member of the council except himself for the post.
The members of the council, approximately 120 in all, will choose 15 members for the politburo in the same way, Zaza said.
According to Bardawil, the new members of the movement's politburo will be announced after electing the new chief.
For the first time Hamas placed a two-term limit on the politburo's chief, Zaza said, with providing further details on the period of the term.
The elections, which are held in the Palestinian territories, Israeli prisons and in the Arab countries that have Palestinian refugee camps, to choose a new chief was scheduled to be held in the fourth quarter last year, but had been delayed due to the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in November 2012.
The Islamist group reshuffles its leadership every four years or more through secretive elections among its senior members.