Hamas: Fatah election plan violates reconciliation deal

Group's spokesman says voter registration in W. Bank violates agreement's call on both sides to avoid unilateral steps.

August 14, 2011 16:36
1 minute read.
PA President Abbas with Hamas PM Haniyeh

PA President Abbas with Hamas PM Haniyeh 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

Hamas on Sunday accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement of violating a reconciliation agreement by opening voter registration for local elections due to be held in October in the West Bank.

Hamas has described the planned ballot as illegitimate.

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Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said voter registration that opened in the West Bank on Saturday violated the agreement's call on both sides to avoid unilateral steps that could jeopardize the pact signed in Cairo in April.

Implementation of the accord has been held up by a disagreement between Hamas and Fatah over who would head an interim unity government in the run-up to presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

Last week, Abbas phoned Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and urged him to preserve the climate of reconciliation between the two sides, according to a statement released by Hamas.

Abbas stressed during the phone conversation the importance of activating the agreements that were reached in Cairo recently between Fatah and Hamas, the statement said.

Earlier this week, Hamas and Fatah representatives who met in the Egyptian capital announced that they had reached an agreement on a number of sticking points, including the release of prisoners and granting Palestinian passports to residents of the Gaza Strip.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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