Abbas set to push ahead with Jan 24 polls 21Oct09 October 22, 2009

Press TV  - 21 October 2009

Senior Hamas leader, Mousa Abu Maroul urges talks on existing gaps in the Cairo-brokered reconciliation deal

Senior Hamas leader, Mousa Abu Maroul urges talks on existing gaps in the Cairo-brokered reconciliation deal

Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas says he will announce January 24 as the date for presidential and legislative elections, despite objections from Hamas.

Abbas was speaking to journalists on Tuesday in Cairo, where he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to discuss reconciliation talks between his Fatah party and the rival Hamas movement.

Abbas said that he would set the date in a Sunday decree although Hamas was seeking to delay the elections.

Earlier in the day, the Fatah leader attacked the Islamic movement for failing to sign an Egyptian-brokered deal and called on the Arab League to hold Hamas responsible for disrupting the Palestinian reconciliation efforts.

Hamas refused Egypt’s request to both parties for a yes or no answer to the reconciliation plan, set by Cairo mediators by 15 October, due to serious issues with the document, insisting on more talks on the reservations they still had with Cairo officials.

The Gaza-based group later asked Egypt to postpone the earlier announced date of October 26 after the Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation at the UN Human Rights Council dropped its backing for an immediate vote on a report on the Gaza war — a decision later the PA withdrew under mounting criticism from the Arab world.

Vice-Chairman of Hamas Political Bureau Mousa Abu Marzouq on Tuesday stressed the Egyptian paper still suffered gaps on issues already agreed between Hamas, Fatah, and Egyptian mediators.

“If what was removed from the paper is reinstated, we will surely sign before the 25th of October,” said the Hamas leader, offering further dialogue for ‘reaching an understanding over what is missing in the reconciliation paper’.

On Abbas’ intention to go ahead with elections on 24 or 25 January whether or not Hamas has signed the Egyptian proposal, Abu Marzouq said Abbas ‘cannot conduct elections by himself in the West Bank, what is being said is only to put pressure on Hamas’.

“Even if Abu Mazen (Abbas) makes the mistake of holding the elections, we will have other options that we will announce at that time,” he said.

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