Abbas to promise elections in UN speech

Senior PA official says PA chairman will renew pledge to hold elections. Abbas' term expired in 2009 but he has remained in office.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas will renew a pledge to hold fresh parliamentary elections in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, a senior PA official said.

Abbas will say that "after he returns to Palestine he will call parliamentary elections and specify a date and begin formal preparations," senior PA official Ahmed Majdalani told AFP on Wednesday.

Abbas, 84, has made similar pledges in recent years, but no PA elections have taken place since 2006.

The PA parliament has not met since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of Gaza from Abbas’ Fatah faction.

Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since the 2007 coup and all attempts to reconcile the warring sides have failed.

Fatah and Hamas later signed a reconciliation deal, under which the PA was to have resumed full control of Gaza, but the deal hit “obstacles” and has never been implemented.

Abbas' term as PA chairman was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.

He last pledged to hold parliamentary elections within six months in December of 2018.

Majdalani said on Wednesday Abbas would also call for more support for Palestinians from the international community in his speech.

"He will demand that the UN decide to provide international protection to the Palestinian people under occupation," Majdalani told AFP.