Fatah may seek Palestinian election delay

June 7, 2010 at 3:56 PM
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GAZA, June 7 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Fatah movement is considering asking for a postponement of local elections next month because of internal rifts within the group, observers say.

Fatah is mulling filing an appeal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Elections Committee to delay the Palestinian Authority elections, Ynetnews reported Monday.

Factions within Fatah are split over candidates for local municipalities and councils, with some members vowing to run against the movement's officially listed candidates, Ynetnews said.

The Palestinian Central Committee has been unable to reconcile the differing factions, and some fear Fatah's image might be damaged by the internal rift.

Postponing the election "is better than being humiliated, receiving a huge blow," a faction member said.

In the run-up to the elections, Egypt has offered to mediate between rival groups Fatah and Hamas, and one Hamas official pointed to the upcoming elections as a main point of contention, the Ma'an news agency reported.

"Fatah is trying to push us out of Palestinian politics," Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the Gaza government said.

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