Hamas leader rejects early elections

The Hamas leader exiled in Syria is dismissing the Palestinian president's threat to hold simultaneous elections for president and parliament early next year, unless the group begins reconciliation talks. Khaled Mashaal warned on Monday that any call for both balloting would be considered a violation of the law. Hamas claims Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' term expires January 9. The group says he can call presidential elections then - but not parliament elections to replace the Hamas-dominated legislature. The next parliamentary vote is scheduled for January 2010.