The Palestinian legislative council approved in principle on Wednesday the election bell, ending a two weeks dispute on whether the election could take place on July 17.
‘It is now in the hands of President Abbas to decide whether elections should take place on the assigned date or be postponed’ said a Fatah law maker.Ã‚Â
Fatah lawmakers decided Tuesday night to vote in favor of an election bill, paving way for holding legislative elections on July 17, as originally planned. The vote on the election bill will take place on Wednesday.
Senior Fatah official, lawmaker Qadoura Fares said Fatah lawmakers would vote for the bill in the PLC session on Wednesday.
‘We as members of the PLC decided in consensus that we don’t want anybody to blame the council for any delay in the elections and thus tomorrow we’ll vote on the law as it is already,’ Fares said.
Earlier in the week, Fatah legislators, 66 lawmakers out of the 88 Palestinian Legislative Council members, have requested amendments to the election bill. A move that was seen by opposition groups, especially Hamas, as a political maneuver to postpone legislative elections.
Hamas warned that if the PA fails to fulfill its promises and hold elections on due time, the Islamic movement would rethink its commitments, including to the informal truce.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
Sources close to Fatah said Tuesday that pressed on Fatah legislators to drop amendments and vote to pass the bill, leaving the issue of postponement to be settled in political negotiations between the PA and opposition groups.
Abbas is concerned that not passing the bill might ignite a crisis with Hamas that he wants to avoid, especially on the eve of his visit to the United States.
The Palestinian election committee has said they need three months to prepare for the poll, and a delay in passing the legislation could have jeopardized the timetable.
Lawmakers had been due to pass the new law on Sunday, but the vote was delayed. Abbas has said he remains committed to the July 17 date.
Hamas believes Fatah is trying to postpone the elections until after Israel’s planned Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip this summer.