Friday, 16 April 2021 02:28 GMT

Hamas welcomes Abbas' decree to form electoral court


(MENAFN - IANS)

Gaza, March 2 (IANS) The Islamic Hamas movement, ruling faction of the Gaza Strip, has welcomed a decree issued by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to form an electoral court ahead of the general elections as "a positive step toward the right direction".

"President Abbas is asked to carry out more practical measures to implement what the Palestinian factions has recently agreed upon in Egypt's capital Cairo, mainly issues related to public freedom," Xinhua news agency quoted Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum as saying on Monday.

"Establishing a status of confidence and safety among the Palestinians would encourage them to participate in the vote with no fear or pressure that would negatively affect the electoral process," he added.

On Monday, Abbas, also head of the ruling Fatah party, issued the presidential decree ordering the establishment of an electoral court to resolve the disputes between the Palestinian factions in the electoral process.

In the intra-Palestinian national dialogue that ended in Cairo last month, leaders of 14 factions, including Hamas and Fatah, agreed to hold the general elections as scheduled.

The factions also agreed to set up an electoral court of judges from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to monitor all matters related to the process.

The independence of the electoral court has been a central demand by the Hamas, which has expressed concern that Abbas could use a court to revise election results should he lose, according to political analysts.

In January, Abbas announced that the 2021 general elections will include legislative elections on May 22, presidential elections on July 31, and the Palestinian National Council elections on August 31.

The last legislative elections in the Palestinian territories were held in January 2006 when Hamas won a majority 74 of the 132 seats.

Abbas was elected as the President of the Palestinian Authority in March 2005.

The internal Palestinian division between Hamas and Fatah began in 2007 when the former forcibly took over the Gaza Strip from the latter.

Since then, the Palestinian territories have been split into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the Fatah-dominated West Bank.

--IANS

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