The Hamas-run government in Gaza suspended the work of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission on Monday, a day before it was to start registering new voters, abruptly halting one of the few tangible steps toward reconciliation with the rival Fatah party, based in the West Bank. The move pushed off the prospect of presidential and parliamentary elections. Though considered long overdue, no date had been set for them. The latest delay added a new complication in a reconciliation process that began more than a year ago with an accord brokered by Egypt that was described as historic but has mainly resulted in new rounds of talks, more documents and broken deadlines.
Hamas said it was temporarily halting the work of the commission for several reasons, among them what it said was the unfair treatment of Hamas supporters in the West Bank, where the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas holds sway. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said in a statement that large numbers of its supporters could not register as new voters in the West Bank “due to the repression” and that Hamas representatives could not supervise registration there.
Full Article: Hamas Suspends Voter Registration in Gaza – NYTimes.com.