Carter urges Palestinian elections

Carter urges Palestinian elections
Updated 02 May 2015

Carter urges Palestinian elections

Carter urges Palestinian elections

RAMALLAH: Former US President Jimmy Carter on Saturday urged Palestinians to hold elections to end the de facto division of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
He was speaking at a joint news conference with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the Palestinian political capital Ramallah in the West Bank.
“We hope that sometime we’ll see elections all over the Palestinian area and east Jerusalem and Gaza and also in the West Bank,” said Carter, a member of the independent Elders Group of global leaders.
No election has been held in the occupied territories for nearly a decade.
Abbas’s presidential mandate expired in 2009, but he remains in office since there has been no election. The Palestinian parliament has also not met since 2007.
In 2006, a year after Abbas was elected, Hamas won the most recent Palestinian legislative elections. Differences between Abbas’s Fatah party and the Hamas then led to the so-called “inqissam,” or division.
Despite the rivals signing a reconciliation agreement a year ago, Hamas is reluctant to hand over power in Gaza to an independent Palestinian unity government they formed.
Carter had also planned to go to Gaza, but the visit was canceled at the last moment.