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Palestine invites EU, European Parliament to observe polls

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Palestine invites EU, European Parliament to observe polls

Ramallah, Jan 25 (IANS) Palestine has extended official invitations to the European Union (EU) and the European Parliament, calling them to observe the upcoming general elections, a poll official said here.

In a statement, Hanna Nasser, chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (PCEC), said that he has already handed an invitation to EU Representative in Palestine Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, Xinhua news agency reported.

Nasser said that the international observation will guarantee the election’s results, urging all international observation bodies to monitor the upcoming elections.

For his part, Burgsdorff appreciated the role of the PCEC and its readiness despite the ongoing challenges, according to the statement.

He stressed that holding general elections is the first step for the Palestinians to put an end to their internal division and restore their democratic life.

Based on the international standards, the EU supports holding free and fair elections in the Palestinian territories, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

On January 15, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree setting specific dates for holding the legislative and presidential elections, in addition to a vote for the Palestinian National Council.

Under the decree, legislative elections will be held on May 22, presidential elections on July 31, and the Palestinian National Council elections on August 31.

The last legislative elections were held in the Palestinian territories in late 2006 when the Hamas movement won a majority.

Abbas was elected as the president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005.

–IANS

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