Palestinian election officials on Thursday recommended postponing January's presidential election. Hanna Nasser, chairman of the Palestinian election commission, blamed Hamas for holding up the vote. According to the AP, he said Hamas had refused to cooperate with election workers, making it impossible to hold the Jan. 24 vote.
"We planned to go to Gaza to figure out how we can conduct elections there," Nasser said. "In the meantime, we received an answer from Hamas that we are not welcome in Gaza. It is clear now that we cannot hold an election in Gaza."
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas must still approve the commission's recommendation. But if he does, as is expected, he will likely remain in office indefinitely.
Abbas last week said he would not contest the election, saying he was frustrated with the lack of progress in peace efforts with Israel.