Palestinian elections expose division crisis between Fatah and Hamas

Palestinian elections expose division crisis between Fatah and Hamas

Palestinians choose mayors and local councils in communities across the West Bank on Saturday, a rare chance to cast ballots after more than a decade without presidential or legislative elections.

Running virtually unopposed, Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah Party has strolled to victory in West Bank municipal elections. Abbas's Palestinian Authority, which governs in the West Bank, and Hamas, which runs Gaza, blamed each other for the vote not being held in the small coastal enclave.

Although it won easily, the Fatah Party's poor showing as results were released on Sunday reflected public discontent towards Abbas.

The overall turnout figures were similar to the previous local elections in 2012, also boycotted by the Islamist Hamas movement.

Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism.

Roughly 2.2 million Palestinians live in the West Bank, of whom just over 787,000 were eligible to vote.

However, turnout was far lower in large cities than in surrounding communities, with the lowest in Nablus, the main city in the northern West Bank, where it was less than 21 percent. But with the rival movements disqualifying each other's candidates, Fatah made a decision to go forward with the elections in the West Bank alone in a bid to renew its legitimacy.

More news: Mou: Utd must focus on Europa League

Abbas's presidential term was meant to end in 2009, but he has remained in office with no elections organised. The 300,000 residents of east Jerusalem were not voting Saturday.

Hanna Nasser, head of the Central Elections Commission, said the organization plans to approach Hamas about the possibility of holding municipal elections in the Gaza Strip.

Rival lists also looked to the same electorate.

Hamas has rejected the calls for elections saying they will only continue to pull political sensitivities in Palestinian socio-political hemisphere if elections are held before political reconciliation between the two parties.

Official figures put turnout at 53.4 percent, or almost the same as local elections in the West Bank in 2012, according to electoral commission chief Hanna Nasser.

"I came to exercise my democratic rights", said Bishara Dabbah, a 55-year-old Ramallah resident.

Electoral worker shows a ballot to a voter at a polling station in the West Bank city of Nablus, Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Related Articles

  • Germany posts 0.6 percent Q1 GDP growth

    Germany's economy expanded by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. Employment rates in the country are at a record high .
    House gives initial approval to adoption bill

    House gives initial approval to adoption bill

    The Texas Senate has approved a bill expanding the definition of hazing in civil and criminal cases. "We're further casting these children off", said Rep.

    Penguins close out Capitals

    While the Capitals ceded that pair of goals to eager Penguins attackers, Marc-André Fleury shut down everything that came at him. Trotz doesn't think it'll have anything to do with history. " They showed a lot of resiliency", Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.
  • Jordanian Terrorist Attacks Police at Jerusalem's Lion's Gate on Shabbos

    President Donald Trump has vowed to try and broker a historic peace deal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Jordanian minister condemned the crime and demanded Israel to reveal all the details about the crime.

    Syrian Kurdish forces to push on IS capital this summer

    Turkey has been angered by a US decision to provide arms to Syrian Kurdish fighters that Turkey considers terrorists. The fighters were clearing the town and the dam Thursday of land mines, the militants' favorite weapon.
    Miley Cyrus Releases New Single and Music Video for

    Miley Cyrus Releases New Single and Music Video for "Malibu"

    In the video, Cyrus can be seen dancing in a field, running on the beach with colorful balloons, and sitting near a waterfall. The 32-year-old singer took to Twitter on Thursday to praise Cyrus for her latest single, "Malibu".
  • Japan Aso says gradually seeing the course of US policies

    The statement also stressed the need for common practices to detect vulnerabilities in the global financial system. He said the administration was focused on growth, "and growth in the United States is good for the world economy".

    Glasnow allows 7 runs in third as Pirates fall to Diamondbacks

    Josh Harrison drew a two-out walk in the ninth against Arizona closer Fernando Rodney, but got ignominiously thrown out stealing. It was also Polanco's first home run since September 16, 2016, snapping a 148-at-bat homerless streak for the young slugger.
    Timeline | Thunderstorms rolling through on Mother's Day weekend

    Timeline | Thunderstorms rolling through on Mother's Day weekend

    We'll see a mix of sun and clouds today as a high pressure begins to move out of the area and highs are seasonable in the low 70s. Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's! We stay dry with highs again around 60-but more sun could allow us to get slightly warmer.
  • Woman charged with chasing US Rep. David Kustoff

    Woman charged with chasing US Rep. David Kustoff

    Eyewitnesses said there was a "lot of cursing" but that they "couldn't understand a lot of what she was saying". Authorities were able to identify Wright from a post on her Facebook account about the incident, WBBJ reported.
    The US signs a new trade deal with China

    The US signs a new trade deal with China

    US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross hailed the agreement as "a Herculean accomplishment" forged in record time. The breakthrough results from an agreement U.S.
    4 ways Red Cross helped with freeing 82 Chibok girls

    4 ways Red Cross helped with freeing 82 Chibok girls

    According to ICRC, on its Twitter page it stated that it acted as an intermediary between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government. Human rights advocates believe others could be among the young girls who have been used to carry out suicide bombing attacks.