Hamas has been avoiding elections because it is pessimistic about their
outcome, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in an
interview with The Washington Post published Friday.
is a well-known fact borne out by various opinion polls that there has
been a steady erosion in Hamas’s standing, both in the West Bank and
Gaza," Fayyad said. "I believe that is why they have been dodging
Fayyad said that it was unacceptable that elections
have not been held recently in the Palestinian Authority, calling a vote
"overdue" and saying that it is "something I believe is going to
happen, and I hope sooner rather than later." PA President Mahmoud Abbas
was elected on January 15, 2005 for a four-year term, but remains in
office due to the indefinite postponement of elections. The Palestinian
Legislative Council, which sits in Gaza, was last elected to a four-year
term on January 25, 2006, but also remains unable to renew its mandate.
the interview, Fayyad spoke at length about his personal future in the
Palestinian political establishment. "I'm not going away," he said
twice, adding that he "would not rule out" starting a party of his own
in case a potential Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal forces him out of
the government. Tensions between Abbas
and Fayyad have continued to intensify, and calls are growing within
Fatah to dismiss the sitting president and appoint a Fatah figure as
head of a new government.
Turning to relations with Israel,
Fayyad said he thought that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was not
serious about making peace based on a two-state solution. "Going back to
June 2009, Netanyahu signaled for the first time a willingness to
accept a two-state solution concept. But in terms of projecting that
into effective support for a two-state reality, there is a serious
distance to be traveled."
Asked about the potential to renew
unilateral action for statehood via recognition by various United
Nations agencies, Fayyad respond that "I am for any initiative that
brings us closer to the day when we are able to live as free people in a
country of our own."
Fayyad added: "What is the alternative to
the Palestinian state as a solution to this conflict? There is no
That said, Fayyad was hesitant to
promote diplomatic gimmicks that fail to really advance the Palestinian
cause. "I don’t need another declaration of statehood," he said. "We
already have one."