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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Hamas: Voter registration to start in Gaza soon

Hamas: Voter registration to start in Gaza 'soon'
Published 24 January 2013 10:41
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=558897

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The government in Gaza will invite the Central
Elections Commission to resume work in the enclave "soon", a Hamas official
said Wednesday.

Salah al-Bardawil said Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh will invite CEC chief
Hanna Nasser to Gaza to start updating the electoral roll in preparation for
a vote.

Al-Bardawil told Ma'an that Hamas was determined to implement the
reconciliation agreements signed with Fatah in Cairo and Doha.

In May 2011, the parties signed an Egypt-brokered reconciliation deal,
agreeing to form a unity government of technocrats and independents to
prepare for national elections and end the division between the Hamas-run
Gaza Strip and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal and Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas met
recently in Cairo and agreed to set a timetable to implement the deal and
reunite Palestine under one government.

The party leaders agreed that the CEC would resume operations in Gaza by the
end of January.

The electoral roll has not been updated in Gaza since the last local
elections were held in January 2005.

In July 2012, Hamas suspended the CEC's work a day before it was due to
begin registering voters in Gaza, citing the continued arrest of Hamas
members in the West Bank and its questions over the commission's
impartiality.

Meanwhile, al-Bardawil said a new chief of Hamas' politburo will be
announced soon.

Al-Bardawil said the party had completed "90 percent" of the process to
elect Mashaal's successor, but the announcement of a new leader had been
delayed by "technical issues."

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