Hamas says to take part in Palestinian vote
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip said it will participate in local elections set for October
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip said Friday it will participate in local elections set for October, after boycotting the last round four years ago.
Its rival, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority headed by president Mahmud Abbas, has said local and municipal polls will be held on October 8 throughout the Palestinian territories.
Hamas said in a statement that it considered local elections to be “necessary and important”, without specifying where it would field candidates.
The movement boycotted the last round of elections held in 2012 and Gazans have been unable to vote since the Islamists took power in the territory in 2007.
“Hamas will work for the success of these elections and will facilitate them in the interest of the people and the (Palestinian) cause.” the statement said.
Hamas and Fatah agreed a unity deal in April 2014 that was supposed to lead to a technocratic government taking over administration of Gaza and the West Bank.
However, Hamas never accepted relinquishing its authority in Gaza, and the two sides remain at loggerheads.