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PA Set to Approve October 2011 Elections

The PLO executive committee agreed on October 2011 for municipal elections, just one month after its planned statehood bid at the UN.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 7/14/2011, 8:13 PM / Last Update: 7/15/2011, 3:13 AM

 

The Palestinian Authority is set to approve municipal elections areas it administers, and Hamas-run Gaza, in October 2011.

PLO executive committee member Ghassan Shaka told Voice of Palestine Radio Thursday that consultations about the elections were held and October 22 was the understood to be the prescribed date.

"We hope that the elections will be held in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in order to translate national reconciliation into real action on the ground," Shaka said.

The PA will reportedly make the announcement following consultations with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and other political factions, such as the Hamas terrorist organization.

Observers note the date follows almost immediately the PA's planned statehood bid at the United Nations and suggest it may be a deliberate attempt to avoid blow-back before the UN vote should Hamas, as is expected, make considerable gains at the polls.

Local elections were set for July 2011, but were postponed until after the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement was signed.

Local elections for the 315 local councils in PA administered areas were initially due to be held in July 2010.

The terms of the agreement, including the formation of an independent and joint government, have yet to be implemented amidst an ongoing corruption probe and financial crisis that has crippled the PA.

A scheduled June announcement of a PA unity government in Cairo has been postponed indefinitely.

The position of Prime Minister in any future unity government has been a serious impediment to progress in talks, with both factions unable to reach a consensus on a candidate.