Hamas has decided it will not be nominating a candidate for the Palestinian Authority (PA) “presidential elections”, i24NEWS reported on Monday, citing Al-Jazeera.
The report attributed the announcement to senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouq.
The report comes as a likely boon for PA chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, who saw dwindling support in opinion polls.
According to some of the recent surveys, Abbas would have lost if facing off with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
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.
Abbas' term as PA chairman was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.
No PA elections have taken place since 2006 and similar initiatives in the past have failed to result in elections.
Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since Hamas violently took over Gaza in a bloody coup in 2007, but the two organizations recently reached a comprehensive agreement on holding elections.