Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has stated his intention to schedule Palestinian elections “very soon” in the absence of reconciliation with the de facto Hamas government in the Gaza Strip. Abbas has said to journalist that he will call for presidential and legislative elections within the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas argues that legislative elections are not due until 2010, but that Abbas’ term expires in January 2009.
Read: AFP, “Palestinian elections scheduled ‘very soon’: Abbas,” 16 December 2008, http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081216/wl_mideast_afp/mideastpalestinianvote_081216133704
Read: AP, Abbas says he’ll call Palestinian vote `very soon’,” 16 December 2008, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081216/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians_14
Read: Maan News, “Abbas aides: Elections as soon as April,” 16 December 2008, http://maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=33995.
Either way, it seems unlikely that the next Israeli government will allow Hamas to take part in elections in the West Bank and jerusalem. That would be like holding elections in Syria without the Baath Party, states Haaretz columnist Akiva Eldar.
Read: Haaretz, “Border Control / Democracy in the West Bank? Not if it’s up to Israel,” 16 December 2008, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1046960.html.