Palestinian elections in doubt if Hamas, Fatah fail to reach agreement
The Palestinian factions' failure to settle mutual problematic concerns will put the general elections into question, a Fatah official said Sunday, Xinhua reported.
"The presidential and parliamentary elections would be doubted" if Hamas and Fatah fail again to reach an agreement during Egyptian-sponsored national Palestinian dialogue this month, said Zakaraeya al-Agha, a member of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's party delegation to the talks.
The Palestinian elections were initially due in January 2009.
Egypt has announced that the two Palestinian rivals should meet again on July 25 to sign a reconciliation agreement that would restore political unity to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the Fatah-ruled West Bank.
In previous sessions of talks, Hamas and Fatah have agreed in principle to hold elections by January 2010 to boost the possible reconciliation.
Despite some progress, the controversial issues remained unsolved, al-Agha said, adding that politically-motivated arrests the two movements carry out against each other's supporters were one of the most thorny cases.
"The progress was not enough to be developed into an agreement, " according to al-Agha. He also said he has no idea if the upcoming round of dialogue would be the final one.
The dialogue basically aims at ending the rifts aftermaths of Hamas' 2007 violent takeover of Gaza.