Hamas: New, illegal PA cabinet can't hold elections

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 17, 2012 15:39

"Abbas's call for municipal elections at this time is unacceptable," Hamas spokesperson says, calling on PA to honor Doha deal.

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Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri

Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri 311 (R). (photo credit: Osman Orsal / Reuters)

The new Palestinian cabinet sworn in this week is illegitimate and cannot hold or oversee elections, Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri charged on Thursday.

"Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's call for municipal elections at this time is unacceptable," Zuhri said according to Hamas-affiliate Al-Resalah.

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Zuhri slammed the PA for forming a new cabinet because it falls outside of the Doha agreement, signed by Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in the Qatari capital in February, which called for the formation of a "national consensus government to oversee elections."

The government’s main mission, the Doha agreement stipulated, would be to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections and rebuild the Gaza Strip.

As of this week, Hamas does not figure into the new Palestinian cabinet, which underlines the failure of this past year's so-called reconciliation movement that sought to unify the schismatic Palestinian leadership in Gaza and the West Bank.

While a number of high-profile meetings that included top officials from Hamas and Fatah were held since May, 2011 in the Egyptian and Qatari capitals, the facts on the ground in Gaza and the West Bank have changed little to reflect those intentions.

When the new PA cabinet headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad - who last year signaled he would be willing to step down to facilitate Palestinian unity - was sworn in before Abbas last Wednesday, the move seemed to end any chances of forming a Fatah-Hamas unity government.

Hamas has fired back. The new cabinet, the Hamas spokesman charged, is illegitimate to hold elections, accusing the new government of corruption.

Earlier this week, Hamas said the cabinet was illegal under Palestinian law because it was not approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council, a governing body which has been largely ineffective since Hamas successfully drove Fatah out of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Zuhri called on Abbas to honor the deal signed in Doha, and implement "what was listed" as the formation of a national consensus government that will be responsible for conducting parliamentary and, eventually, presidential elections.


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