GAZA, November 12 (RIA Novosti) - The Palestinian Central Election Commission (CEC) on Thursday recommended delaying general elections scheduled for January 24, paving the way for Abbas to remain in power indefinitely.
Abbas, whose ruling Fatah party controls the West Bank, refused last week to run in the elections over a stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian and inter-Palestinian settlement. Islamist group Hamas-controlled Gaza earlier threatened to boycott the election.
"We have told the president that for technical reasons we cannot organize elections in time... Israel has not yet agreed to hold elections in East Jerusalem; the Hamas movement has refused to hold elections in the Gaza Strip," CEC chairman Hanna Nasser said.
A document to reconcile the two largest Palestinian factions - Hamas and Fatah - was put forward by Cairo in early September. In the summer of 2007, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip and pushed Fatah out of the enclave.
Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas representative, told Xinhua: "The elections are impossible without national understanding and would not have succeeded."