Middle East News
Hamas: Palestinian elections unlikely to be held in May
Dec 13, 2011, 13:04 GMT
Gaza - A Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday said it was unlikely that Palestinian elections would be held in May as planned, since more time was needed to prepare.
'I don't think that the general elections will be held at the agreed time,' Mahmoud al-Zahar told dpa.
Hamas won the last Palestinian elections in January 2006.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced in November that long-overdue elections are to be held on May 4, as part of a reconciliation agreement between his West Bank-based Fatah party and Hamas.
The two sides also agreed to meet in Cairo on December 18 to finalize the implementation of the deal and the formation of an interim unity government in the run-up to elections.
'So far, the implementation of the reconciliation agreement is at a standstill,' al-Zahar said.
'None of the agreement's provisions have been implemented yet,' he added.
Al-Zahar said a unity government and an election committee were needed, 'in order to guarantee integrity and transparency.'
Meanwhile Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister, told reporters that 'the ongoing political arrests of Hamas activists in the West Bank' was slowing the process of implementing the Fatah-Hamas deal.
More steps were needed to show 'honest intentions,' he said.
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