Hamas Chief Says Results Of Palestinian General Elections “Must Be Respected”

GAZA, Palestine, Nov 11 (NNN-WAFA) – Ismail Haniyeh, the politburo chief of Hamas, said, his Islamic movement demands that the results of the Palestinian general elections, if held, must be respected.

Haniyeh told a news briefing, following a meeting with representatives of Palestinian factions and political powers in Gaza, saying, “There is a national consensus to hold elections. So we demand respect for its results.”

“The elections should have been held under Palestinian reconciliation, a unity government, an agreement to hold them, and a national council,” Haniyeh added.

He said, Hamas showed “unprecedented flexibility” for holding the elections in the Palestinian territories, adding, “we seek to end the division, restore unity, and build a Palestinian political system based on partnership at all levels.”

Haniyeh added that Hamas accepted President Mahmoud Abbas’ demand, to hold the parliamentary elections first, and then the elections for president and the national council of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), in three months.

“We have dealt with the elections with high flexibility and national responsibility, and made concessions in order to open the door for the elections to begin, and achieve the desired goals,” he said.

However, Haniyeh demanded reactivating the Legislative Council (PLC), or parliament of the Palestinian Authority, which becomes inoperative, after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Meanwhile, Abbas’ Fatah Party welcomed Haniyeh’s remarks, on accepting the issuance of the presidential decree, before holding a large national meeting.

“All the requirements that Haniyeh has spoken about will be discussed in the large national meeting, that will be held after issuing the presidential decree,” said Fayez Abu Eitta, deputy of Fatah revolutionary council.

Hanna Nasser, chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, is scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip this week, to carry on with his dialogue with Hamas and other factions’ leaders.

The last parliamentary elections, held in the Palestinian territories, were in Jan, 2006, where Hamas won an overwhelming majority. The presidential elections were held in 2005 and Abbas won.– NNN-WAFA