PA central election committee convened without Gaza Strip members
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat postponed Sunday a meeting with his central election committee to discuss planned polls, as committee members from Gaza were unable to make it to the West Bank, a Palestinian official said.
Instead, the meeting of the West Bank members convened under the chairmanship of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's number two Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the official told AFP.
They discussed among other issues the difficulty of having polls at all levels when voters cannot move freely owing to Israeli travel restrictions.
They also discussed the issue of how Palestinians living in east Jerusalem would be able to cast their ballots.
Arafat could meet with the committee, as he had been scheduled to do, on Wednesday, if the Gaza members were able to make the trip, the official said.
Palestinian information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo earlier said that polls could not be held while Israel enforces an "apartheid" system in the West Bank, curbing the movement of voters and candidates.
"It is impossible to hold elections in this situation, with candidates unable to move around because of the military checkpoints," Abed Rabbo told reporters.
"The situation on the ground confirms Israel has imposed an apartheid system on the Palestinian people," he said. Abed Rabbo said the committee would probably need six months to arrange elections. (Albawaba.com)
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