Media reports claim Fatah officials are calling on the PA president to cancel Oct. 8 elections; Hamas announced participation in elections mid-2016
The Fatah party of the Palestinian Authority has called on President Mahmoud Abbas to cancel upcoming local elections as polls indicate that Hamas will likely win.
Reports from several West Bank and Gaza Strip media outlets Friday claimed that several Fatah officials are calling for the October 8th vote to be cancelled, citing their reasons because of Hamas’s likelihood to win the local elections and the threat such a victory poses to the Authority and Fatah party.
Hamas announced in July that it would participate in scheduled local elections in the Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Central Elections Committee accepted Hamas’s participation and scheduled a delegation to travel to the Gaza Strip on Sunday to meet with political officials.
The terrorist organization made the announcement of its first participation in local elections in nearly a decade. Hamas reported that it hopes participating in the upcoming elections would “lay the foundation for the general election in the future.” Hamas boycotted the last elections held in 2012.
Hamas released the following statement on its decision to participate in elections in July: We hope that this election will help national reconciliation if we succeeded to have transparent election as this could lay the foundation for the general election in the future. Once we have this election, this might lead to a general election and national reconciliation. If we succeed and everybody accepts the result, I think this is going to give us a signal to the future election. The movement sees the necessity and importance of holding local elections in the Gaza Strip and West Bank and renewing local councils in support of a popular and free administration through the ballot box,” claiming that they “will work to facilitate and make the elections successful in a way that serves the interest of our people and issue on the basis of providing assurances of fairness, equal opportunity, and respect for its result.”
In June of 2014, Hamas and Fatah announced the formation of a unity government, officially ending negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel at the time, as Israel does not negotiate with terrorists. The unity government was intended to end the seven years of severed ties between the two parties, the unity government not lasting more than a few months.
Since then, Hamas and Fatah signed the Cairo Agreement which designated that Hamas would remain in power in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) would govern the West Bank and border crossings for all Palestinian territories. In March of 2016, talks between Hamas and Fatah were held in Doha with no resolutions or reconciliations made.