Abbas to change Palestinian election legislation

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said he would change the law regulating Palestinian elections in a manner which would weaken Hamas, Israel Radio reported Thursday overnight. The PA chairman explained that he would legislate basing the elections on a "national" ballot as opposed to the current method of multiple "regional" ballots, a move which would erode Hamas's power. Abbas went on to say that while he was not certain when elections would take place, Palestinians would vote simultaneously in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The PA chairman avoided divulging whether he would himself again be a candidate, even though he had told Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin earlier this week that he was not intending to run again.