Hamas and Fatah will hold their first elections in nearly 15 years, officials from both sides said today, following direct talks this week aimed at ending the Palestinian infighting.
The two rival factions agreed on elections with proportional representation that will take place within the next six months, senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub said in a statement. He said separate elections will take place for the Palestine Legislative Council, then the Palestinian Authority presidency and finally, the Palestine National Council.
This week, representatives from Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement met in Turkey to discuss ending their yearslong rift. Senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri told Agence France-Presse the elections agreement was reached during this week’s meetings.
“This time we reached a real consensus,” he told AFP by phone from Istanbul.
The last round of Palestinian elections in 2006 ended in a surprise win for Hamas and a short-lived unity government. Bloody clashes between the two sides led to Fatah’s expulsion from Gaza the next year.