Middle East Monitor / February 19, 2021
Hamas will today hold the first phase of its internal elections to choose a new leadership, Anadolu reported.
A source familiar with the movement told the agency that the first phase of the internal elections will start today, after the preparatory committees have completed all the arrangements related to the elections.
Hamas holds its internal elections in three regions; the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and in the diaspora.
According to the source, the elections will start in the Gaza Strip then in the diaspora at a later time.
Regarding holding internal elections in the West Bank, the source explained that elections there are taking place in a complex and cautious mechanism, given “the security conditions and the Israeli occupation authorities’ pursuit of the movement’s members”.
Hamas holds its internal elections every four years, under secret conditions due to security considerations. The movement held its last elections in 2017.
The source pointed out that the Hamas leadership has ordered that the internal elections be accelerated and their duration shorten in an effort to be completed by the end of March to provide the new leadership time to prepare for the Palestinian legislative and presidential elections slated to be taking place in May and July.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a presidential decree to hold legislative elections on 22 May, the presidential elections on 31 July, and polls for the National Council on 31 August.