Abbas to meet with Central Election Commission

President Mahmoud Abbas was meeting Sunday with officials from the Palestinian Central Election Commission, the first step toward holding early elections. Abbas had announced Saturday that he is calling new presidential and legislative elections, in a dramatic challenge to the ruling Hamas. Abbas is to set the date by presidential decree after hearing from the Election Commission on how much time it needs to prepare. His office said he was meeting the commission members Sunday. His aides had said he would hold the meeting within a week. Abbas' fast pace indicated he is determined to move ahead with the ballotting, even though Hamas has threatened to block the vote.