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 Palestinians to hold elections

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Number of posts : 3
Registration date : 2011-02-12

PostSubject: Palestinians to hold elections   Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:00 pm

Palestinians will hold presidential and legislative elections by September, a top aide to President Mahmoud Abbas announced Saturday, a surprise move apparently prompted by the political unrest spreading in the Arab world.

Abbas aide Yasser Abed Rabbo did not give a firm date for elections, but said the chief Palestinian decision-making body, the Palestine Liberation Organization, was already making preparations.

"We call on parties to put aside all of their differences and to focus on conducting the elections by September at the latest," he told a news conference.

However, Abbas' main political rival, the Islamic militant Hamas, said it would not participate.

Abed Rabbo spoke a day after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in response to nearly three weeks of mass protests against his 30-year rule. The Egyptian protests and another successful revolt in Tunisia a month earlier have inspired calls for democratic reform throughout a region dominated by autocratic governments.

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