PLO Urges Hamas to Resume Voter Registration
The PLO on Tuesday called on Hamas to reverse its decision to suspend voter registration in Gaza.
The Hamas terror organization, which rules Gaza, shut down voter registration on Monday amid a row over a crackdown by Fatah-dominated security forces in Palestinian Authority enclaves in Judea and Samaria.
PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo told the official Voice of Palestine radio that officials in Ramallah have not yet contacted Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal or Egyptian mediators for an explanation of Hamas' decision to suspend voter registration .
"As Hamas continues to make up pretexts and obstacles to impede reconciliation, this again demonstrates the movement does not wish to end the state of disagreement," Abed Rabbo said.
Voter registration was slated as the first step to implementing the long-stalled reconciliation deal between the factions signed in May 2011.
Fatah leader Jamal Muheisin said Tuesday he believes Hamas' decision was a result of internal disagreement within the movement.
He blamed Hamas for putting off the voter registration out of fear that they will not repeat their electoral success of 2006.
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar on Monday defended his party's decision as a response to the domination of the Central Elections Commission (CEC) by Fatah members, insinuating the registration process would be marred by corruption.
In response, CEC executive director Hisham Kahil noted on Tuesday that the committee’s employees were selected by the Hamas-run ministry of education in Gaza. He said that more than 500 employees were selected to work on the registration process in the coastal enclave.