Abbas accepts advise to put off elections

Published November 20th, 2009 - 11:40 GMT

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said presidential and legislative elections scheduled for January will be postponed. Abbas, speaking to BBC Arabic, said the Palestinian leadership would take measures to avoid a constitutional vacuum when the term of the current legislature and his term as president expire on Jan. 25.

 

Abbas added he would not seek a second term as president. The interview was broadcast on Thursday.

 

The Central Election Commission announced last week it had advised Abbas to put off the election. "Now for a realistic reason, due to certain conditions -- because of the rejection of Hamas and its threat to prevent (voting) by force, naturally they will be delayed, or the time of the elections will come later," Abbas said.

 

"It is better for us that Hamas accepts the holding of elections. But if that doesn't happen, then the Palestinian leadership must take measures," he said.

 

Asked if he had taken a final decision not to seek a second term, Abbas said: "This is a final decision, even if matters change." He added: "I have taken a decision not to run."

 

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