PA urges Bush to help with elections

Nov. 13, 2004 at 3:37 PM

GAZA, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat appealed to U.S. President George W. Bush Saturday to assist in holding Palestinian elections within 60 days.

Speaking to the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, Erekat said that Palestinian National Authority would demand that the elections be held in an atmosphere of freedom, and not under military presence, the radio said.

"Our biggest concern now is to hold presidential elections within the coming sixty days," said Nabil Abu Rudeinah, who was one of late Palestinian Yasser Arafat's top aides.

"The international community, especially the United States, should exert pressure on Israel to withdraw its forces and not to enter Palestinian cities, to stop its aggression so that we can proceed with preparations," Abu Rudeineh said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia promised on Saturday that presidential elections to replace late Yasser Arafat would be held within 60 days, specifically by Jan. 9, 2005, a time period set out by the Palestinian basic law.

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