Fatah refuses Hamas request to meet before elections announced

PA chairman's faction refuses request to hold meeting between political parties before Abbas announces general elections.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction on Wednesday refused a request by Gaza-based political factions to hold a meeting between political parties before Abbas announces general elections, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Majed Fityani, Fatah's revolutionary council secretary general, told Xinhua that "holding a dialogue between the political factions before the presidential decree would open doors for disagreements or allow a particular party to stand behind a pretext to invite obstacles in the path of elections."

He said that Fatah "supports the dialogue after the presidential decree for elections."

In his recent speech at the UN General Assembly, Abbas renewed a pledge to hold fresh parliamentary elections. The PA parliament has not met since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of Gaza from Fatah.

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

On Tuesday, Abbas sent a memo on elections to Gaza-based factions, requesting their signatures to declare their commitment to the 2007 elections law and to holding the elections in eastern Jerusalem.

However, Gaza's political factions, especially Hamas which insists on holding dialogue before elections, rejected Abbas’ request.

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

The Fatah Central Committee has already announced that the 84-year-old Abbas will be its candidate in the election when it is held.