Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said Friday that it would allow municipal elections to be held in the Gaza Strip and work for the success of local Palestinian elections set for October, according to Anadolu Agency.
“We affirm the importance of conducting local elections in the [Israeli-occupied] West Bank and Gaza Strip,” Hamas — which has governed the strip since 2007 — said in a statement.
Hamas said in a statement that it considered local elections to be “a necessary and important step” in the path towards democracy and national partnership.
“We will spare no effort to facilitate the holding of these elections, in line with the interests of the Palestinian people,” the group asserted.
While Hamas did not explicitly announce its intention to participate in the polls, an informed source close to the group — who spoke to Anadolu Agency anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media — said that Hamas may support certain “tribal or technocrat” electoral lists.
“Hamas will work for the success of these elections and will facilitate them in the interest of the people and the (Palestinian) cause,” the statement said.
“Such a position emanates from Hamas’s commitment to arrange home affairs and consolidate partnership at such a critical stage,” it further read. The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas, has said local and municipal polls will be held on October 8 throughout the Palestinian territories.
The Central Election Commission welcomed Hamas’s position, saying a delegation headed by Dr.
Hanna Nasser will be heading to the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning to meet Palestinian factions over an electoral agenda. Head of the Central Election Commission, Hanna Nasser, said preparations have been underway to hold the elections on October 8.
“The government has tasked the electoral commission and local government ministries with preparing for the polls,” the council said in a statement.
Additional details about the electoral process, it added, would be announced in coming days.
The last Palestinian municipal elections were held in 2012 in 340 constituencies of the West Bank.