PA official warns against presidential elections without Gaza voters
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said on Wednesday that Palestinian elections should only be held if Gaza residents could participate, AFP reported. “We cannot have elections without Gaza because we cannot have a Palestinian state without Gaza,” Erakat said.
Erakat’s statements come a month after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for elections following a Hamas refusal to agree to an Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation deal.
Hamas’ leadership has said that the elections called by Abbas are unconstitutional since his presidential term ended in January 2009. They therefore will not allow any residents of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, to participate in the election. “My suggestion, opinion and recommendation is that if you do elections in the West Bank in isolation from Gaza, that will be the total separation,” Erakat said.