Palestinian Authority delays local vote to October

May 17, 2011 13:31


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RAMALLAH - The Palestinian Authority announced on Tuesday it was postponing local elections scheduled for July until October, giving time to organize the vote in the Gaza Strip, now under control of Hamas.

The delay had been expected following a surprise unity deal in April between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, which rules the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamist group which has controlled Gaza since 2007.

Ghassan Khatib, spokesman for the Ramallah-based Palestinian administration, said delaying the vote until October 22 would allow time for the body which oversees Palestinian elections to organize voting in the Gaza Strip.

The delay means the election will be held after September, when Abbas has said he will ask the United Nations General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state.

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