Palestinian president announces postponement of elections

Ramallah: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced early Friday that the legislative elections scheduled for May 22 will be postponed until further notice.

“We have decided to postpone the elections until the participation of our people in East Jerusalem is guaranteed,” Abbas said.

The Palestinian president made a televised speech after a leadership meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“We will work to form a national unity government that adheres to international resolutions,” he said.”We call on the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop its aggressive practices,” he added.

On Thursday evening, the PLO was convening a leadership meeting to decide whether the first Palestinian vote in 15 years would be postponed.During the meeting, Abbas reaffirmed that no elections can be held without East Jerusalem.

He said the Israeli government has rejected the holding of the upcoming Palestinian elections in occupied East Jerusalem.He called for the meeting to hammer out an appropriate decision concerning the fate of the elections in the aftermath of Israel’s refusal.

The president stressed that the Palestinian people in East Jerusalem have the right to vote and run as candidates in the elections.The Palestinian leadership insists on holding the general elections in East Jerusalem, as they want to elect a new parliament and a new president for all the Palestinian territories.

In January, Abbas announced the 2021 general elections will include the legislative elections on May 22, the presidential elections on July 31, and the elections of the Palestinian National Council, the highest decision-making body of the PLO, on Aug. 31.