Haniyeh: Elections only way to transfer power

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Maan News Agency | Jan 29, 2012

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh insisted Sunday that elections are the only way to peacefully transfer power, after meeting in the Gaza Strip with the head of the Central Elections Commission.

Haniyeh thanked the commission for its honesty in the last national Palestinian elections, government spokesman Taher al-Nunu added. The prime minister’s party Hamas won a parliamentary vote in 2006 before infighting split the governments in Gaza and the West Bank.

Hamas and Fatah agreed to hold fresh elections after signing a reconciliation deal in May 2011, and the parties said the electoral body would be reformed and given access to work in Gaza. The commission was restructured in December and announced the reopening of its Gaza headquarters on Wednesday.

Commission head Hanna Nassir thanked the government for opening the office, and noted that the next step is for the body to register voters in the Gaza Strip.

After a November meeting to kickstart the reconciliation deal, party leaders indicated that national elections are slated for May, but politicians from several factions have cast on whether the parties will be ready. According to Palestinian electoral laws, the President must issue a decree three months in advance of the election date.


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