Palestinians blame Israel as parliamentary, presidential elections are delayed

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday postponed planned elections amid a dispute over voting in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem and divisions in his Fatah party. Abbas announced the postponement of parliamentary elections due on May 22, and a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official later confirmed that it extended to the presidential ballot planned for July 31. The 85-year-old president blamed Israel for uncertainty about whether it would allow the Palestinian election to proceed in Jerusalem as well as in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. “Facing this difficult situation, we decided to postpone the date of holding legislative elections until the participation of Jerusalem and its people is guaranteed,” he said in a speech on Palestinian TV. The postponement came three months after the elections were called, and on the day that campaigning was due to begin. The polls were widely seen as a response to criticism of the democratic legitimacy of Palestinian…

from Signs of the Times

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