PLO factions intend to form unified list in upcoming elections

Ramallah, Jan 26 (IANS) Several factions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have intended to form a unified list to compete in the elections scheduled for May 22, a top official said here.

Wassel Abu Yousef, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told the Voice of Palestine radio on Monday that leaders of the factions met last week in Ramallah and discussed the possibility of forming a unified list to compete in the upcoming elections, Xinhua news agency reported.

Abu Yousef is also the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF), one of the minor PLO’s factions.

The PLO includes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah Movement and several other left-wing groups.

“Out of the 12 factions, members in the PLO, leaders of four factions expressed readiness to join the unified list to compete in the legislative elections scheduled on May 22,” Abu Yousef said.

However, he added that there were efforts to convince the eight other factions’ leaders to join the list which will be headed by Fatah Movement.

On January 16, Abbas had issued a presidential decree that called for holding the legislative elections on May 22, presidential elections on July 31 and the National Council elections on August 31.

Leaders of Palestinian factions and political powers, including the Hamas movement and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, are expected to convene in Cairo in the first week of February to discuss the mechanisms of holding the elections.

The last legislative elections were held in the Palestinian territories in late 2006 when the Hamas movement won a majority.

Abbas was elected as the president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005.

–IANS
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