AMMAN: Hopes that the first Palestinian polls in almost 15 years will be held soon have received a major boost with rival factions Hamas and Fatah exchanging written approval of a democratic election process.
The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that President Mahmoud Abbas received a written letter from Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas political bureau, conveyed to him by Jibril Rajoub, secretary of Fatah Central Committee.
Abbas welcomed the letter’s contents “regarding ending the division, building partnership and achieving national unity through democratic elections, with full proportional representation — legislative and presidential elections, and the National Council — to be held simultaneously,” Wafa said.
The Palestinian president asked Hanna Nassir, chairman of the Central Elections Commission, to meet with him to discuss the procedures that should be followed to issue the election decrees, the news agency said.
The exchange of letters between the rival factions is a major step forward for internal Palestinian reconciliation efforts.
Abbas thanked Egypt, which sponsors the intra-Palestinian reconciliation talks, as well as Qatar, Turkey, Russia and Jordan, for their goodwill efforts in reaching the agreement.
Speaking during Fatah’s 56th anniversary, Rajoub told Al-Awdah TV that contacts have taken place with Egypt, Qatar and Turkey.