EU warns Abbas against cancelling elections

European officials reportedly warned PA chairman that cancelling the May elections could affect European aid for the PA.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

European officials recently warned Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas that if he cancels the parliamentary elections scheduled for May, Europe's aid and support for the PA will diminish, Kan News reported on Sunday.

According to the report, senior officials and diplomats from Europe told senior PA officials that the situation in which the EU and European countries continue to inject millions into the PA without a democratic process and reform could not continue.

European aid to the PA is estimated at 600 million euros a year. The Biden administration in Washington has not yet formulated an unequivocal position on the upcoming Palestinian Authority elections, Kan News reported.

Hussein Al-Sheikh, head of the General Authority of Civil Affairs of the PA, tweeted on Sunday night that "the Palestinian elections are a clear Palestinian decision that stems from national interests, in order to strengthen the democratic path with the participation of all Palestinians."

He added that "all the rumors circulating about European and other threats are fundamentally flawed and are deliberate disruptions."

Abbas recently issued a decree ordering general elections in PA-assigned territories.

The decree states that legislative elections will take place on May 22. A “presidential” election will take place on July 31. It sets a deadline of August 31 for establishing the Palestinian National Council.

However, the decree does not necessarily mean that elections will actually take place, as Abbas has several times in recent years issued election decrees, only to have the process cancelled.

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

Representatives of Palestinian Arab organizations recently reached a comprehensive agreement on holding general elections. The Islamic Jihad, however, has said it will boycott the elections.