Hamas agrees to the plan for holding Palestinian elections

Hanna Nasser and Ismail Haniyeh (Mohammed Asad - MEMO)

Middle East Monitor  /  November 27, 2019

Ismail Haniyeh, chief of Hamas’s Political Bureau, announced that the movement forwarded to Hanna Nasser, Chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC), its positive response to the Palestinian elections’ execution map.

Haniyeh said in a press conference held on Tuesday evening, following a meeting with the head of CEC, that “the results of the election will be respected and appreciated by Hamas and the Palestinian factions.”

He called for holding a national meeting for dialogue on all issues related to the elections to ensure credibility and safety measures, most notably Civil liberties.

Haniyeh pointed out that the vitality of allocating enough attention to prioritising the file of personal freedoms, as a central factor, for it enables the Palestinian voter and electoral lists to exercise freedom of expression and political pluralism.

He stressed that the elections are not the primary objective per se. Still, it is instead a means through which Hamas is looking forward to overcoming the current impasse and re-arrange the Palestinian household.

Haniyeh emphasised the need for holding the elections in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank, reasserting that neither Fatah nor Hamas will accept the exclusion of Jerusalem under any circumstances.

He indicated: “We will move forward in our national dialogue on the elections of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) while reconsidering ways to rehabilitate and develop the institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to resume its active role.” He equally noted that this favourable position confirms Hamas’ participation in the elections, per Palestinian legislations.

Hamas’s leader stated that “the CEC’s success depends on the work and assistance of different political actors in the Palestinian scene. Thus, Hamas will be the best assistant to our brothers in the Commission.”

He also warned against the latest developments saying: “We are facing major threats, the latest of which is the US decision to legitimise settlement activity and the ongoing attempts to hegemonise our people and our families. These serious developments should prompt us to re-arrange the Palestinian household.”

Haniyeh called on the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah to respect the freed prisoners, revealing that the attack on the protesters among them was one of the reasons to postpone the elections.

Nasser asserted: “Hamas has agreed to participate in the elections, which may be the first step to end the rupture between the Palestinian political actors, and we hope that we manage to hold fair elections as we were the case in 2006.”

Head of the Palestinian CEC conveyed that Hamas has expressed a great sense of flexibility by offering such positive response and agreeing to participate in the elections.