Campaign for West Bank elections begins

Oct. 7, 2012 at 7:39 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Palestinians have begun campaigning for the Oct. 20 municipal elections in the West Bank, officials said.

The Palestinian Central Electoral Commission Saturday announced the local elections will take place in 94 of the West Bank's 353 electoral districts, Ma'an news agency said.

CEC Director Hanna Nasser said 181 electoral districts will be automatically allocated because only one uncontested electoral list was registered. No eligible candidates registered in 78 other districts, he told a news conference in Ramallah. Nasser said a second round of elections will be conducted Nov. 24 in these areas.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Nasser as saying some 4,696 candidates -- including 1,146 women -- submitted applications to run in the elections.

Palestinian media reported the majority of the candidates belong to President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Hamas, which won control of the Gaza Strip in the last elections in 2006, is said to oppose the elections.

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