Abbas: legislative election possible after law approved
Published June 11th 2005 in China News
Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas said holding the postponed legislative election is possible only after the parliament approves the new election law, the official WAFA news agency reported Saturday.

Abbas was quoted as saying that when the new election bill is passed in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), he will hold talks with all Palestinian factions to set a new date for the election, which was postponed from its original date of July 17.

Abbas announced to postpone the parliamentary election on May 4 over differences with the PLC over the way to hold the polls.

Abbas recommended 50 percent of the 132 parliament seats be elected through proportional representation and 50 percent allocated to constituencies, while the PLC preferred two thirds elected through proportional representation and one third through constituencies.

Abbas has yet to endorse the bill and the Palestinian election committee indicated it need two months to prepare for the election after Abbas approved it.

The postponement of the election is believed to give Abbas more time to prepare for a possible tough challenge posed by the Islamic Hamas movement, whose surging street popularity has rendered it a strong showing in the local elections.

Hamas has strongly opposed the postponement of the election.