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Back to the ballot box: Palestinians inch nearer to holding first elections since 2006

For the first time in 15 years, Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza are set to vote but there is already scepticism about the proposed elections, reports Bel Trew

Wednesday 10 February 2021 18:03 GMT
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Palestinian teachers are pictured near the opening of the first Voter Information and Registration Centre in Gaza City
Palestinian teachers are pictured near the opening of the first Voter Information and Registration Centre in Gaza City (AFP via Getty Images)
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Palestinian rival factions appeared one step closer to holding the first elections in 15 years, as they agreed on Tuesday to key voting mechanisms and a timeline set for this summer.

Long-term foes Fatah, based in the West Bank and Hamas, an Islamist militant group which runs Gaza, reached a deal during talks in Cairo this week. In a joint statement they said they agreed to an “election court” with judges from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, to rule in any vote-related legal disputes. They also agreed to abide by an elections timetable which will see legislative elections set for 22 May and a presidential vote on 31 July.

The statement added they would “respect and accept” the results in the elections during which nearly three million eligible voters in Gaza and the West Bank could cast their ballots.

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