Palestinian vote put off, Abbas remains in office

(AP)

Khaleej Times Online, 13 November 2009

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who last week said he didn’t want to run for re-election, may get to stay in office without a single ballot being cast.

The Palestinian Election Commission ruled Thursday that January’s scheduled vote should be put off because of opposition from the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is a rival of Abbas’ Fatah faction.

Abbas raised international concern last week when he declined to run for another term, suggesting he was frustrated over a 10-month stalemate in Israel-Palestinian peacemaking. His departure would have thrown peace efforts into turmoil.

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