Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Hamas does not rule out the possibility of participating in the Palestinian
Authority presidential election, slated for May 2012, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar
He also predicted that Hamas would score a landslide victory
in the upcoming parliamentary election, which is also expected to take place at
the same time.
Zahar: Abbas is not serious about reconciliation
After Schalit deal, Zahar challenges Abbas to elections
Hamas boycotted the two presidential elections that were
held in the Palestinian territories in 1995 and 2005.
came as PA President Mahmoud Abbas held talks in Ramallah with Hamas leaders to
discuss ways of achieving “national unity” and preparations for the
Zahar told the Egyptian Asharq Alawsat
newspaper that many
Palestinians living in the West Bank won’t vote for Abbas’s Fatah faction in the
“The Palestinian Authority has many debts and this has harmed
the families of martyrs and prisoners,” Zahar said. “All of them will vote
against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, on
the other hand, we have provided Palestinians with security and
Zahar admitted, however, his movement had suffered a setback in
the West Bank as a result of PA and Israeli security clampdowns.
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is under security siege in the West Bank,” he said. “Some of our men have died
as a result of torture [in PA prisons].”
Asked whether Hamas was
contemplating presenting its own candidate in the next presidential election,
Zahar replied: “We’re not dealing with this issue at present... but we have
enough capable people who can lead. There is no veto on this idea.”
also scoffed at public opinion polls that show a drop in support for Hamas among
Palestinians. He said these polls reminded him of the ones that were published
prior to the 2006 parliamentary election “when everyone was surprised by the
At the Ramallah meeting, Abbas briefed the Hamas
representatives on the outcome of last week’s discussions in Cairo between
various Palestinian factions.
The Cairo meeting paved the way for Hamas,
Islamic Jihad and other radical Palestinian groups to join the Fatah-dominated
Abbas told the Hamas leaders that he was satisfied with the
rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas and reiterated his desire to end divisions
among the Palestinians and hold new elections.
The Hamas delegation that
met with Abbas included Abdel Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian Legislative
Council and former ministers Nasser Eddin Shaer and Samir Abu Eisheh.
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