- Title: Palestinian parliamentary elections delayed says Abbas, blaming Israel
- Date: 29th April 2021
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (APRIL 29, 2021) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) PALESTINIANS GATHERED IN PROTEST CHANTING (Arabic): "THE PEOPLE WANT TO GO TO THE BALLOT BOX!" VARIOUS OF PALESTINIANS CHANTING IN PROTEST (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ACTIVIST, NASSER ABU KHDEIR, SAYING: "We came here to show a clear, honest stance of not us wanting to delay elections and we want to have them as a democratic national right in the Palestinian arena and there is no excuse or pretext that would make the decision makers and the ones who are controlling these decisions to postpone these elections, no matter what their excuse is." HEBRON, WEST BANK (APRIL 29, 2021) (REUTERS) PALESTINIANS WATCHING ABBAS SPEECH IN CAFE ABBAS SPEECH ON TV PALESTINIANS WATCHING SPEECH ABBAS SPEECH ON TV (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEBRON RESIDENT, WAEL DEYS, SAYING: "As a young Palestinian citizen, I call for conducting elections, and I want my right to elect so I would see new faces, young faces, and see new political stances and hopefully there will be elections, and hopefully we all get to vote even in Jerusalem, in the consulates, in all of Palestine and not only Jerusalem." PALESTINIANS AT CAFE WATCHING ABBAS SPEECH SHI SHA / SPEECH ON TV
- Embargoed: 13th May 2021 23:34
- Keywords: Abbas Israel Palestinians elections
- Location: RAMALLAH AND HEBRON, WEST BANK
- City: RAMALLAH AND HEBRON, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA004EAKSSP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday (April 30) postponed planned parliamentary elections amid a dispute over voting in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem and splits in his Fatah party.
Abbas, 85, blamed Israel for uncertainty about whether it would allow the legislative elections to proceed in Jerusalem as well as in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
The decision came three months after he announced the first national elections for 15 years in what was widely seen as a response to criticism of the democratic legitimacy of Palestinian institutions, including his own presidency.
The dispute over Jerusalem was the principal reason cited by Abbas in a speech early Friday following a meeting of Palestinian political factions.
The delay of the parliamentary elections set for May is likely to draw intense domestic criticism, with Abbas and his allies trailing in polls to challengers from his divided Fatah party and the Islamist group Hamas.
It was not immediately clear whether a presidential vote scheduled for July - the first since 2005 - would go ahead.
Protesters gathered in Gaza and the West Bank city of Ramallah ahead of the announcement calling for the elections to proceed as scheduled and Abbas's principal domestic rivals, the Islamist militant group Hamas, immediately criticised Abbas for the reversal.
Abbas had hinted at the delay for weeks by claiming that Israel had not agreed to permit East Jerusalem Palestinians to vote in the city.
A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said earlier this week that there had been no formal Israeli announcement on whether it would allow Palestinian voting in Jerusalem - as it did during the last elections in 2006 - and Israeli officials said on Thursday (April 29) that there had been no change.
(Production: Ismael Khader, Yosri Al-Jamal, Suheir Sheikh, Mustafa abu Ganeyeh)
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