Elections in Palestine after a gap of a decade and a half

Palestine Parliamentary and presidential elections, the first in 15 years will take place on July 31 this year, announced Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The election will be an effort to heal longstanding internal divisions.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), which has limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, will hold legislative elections on May 22 and a presidential vote on July 31, according to a decree issued by President’s office on Friday.

The Palestinians’ last parliamentary ballot in 2006 resulted in a surprise win by Hamas. This widened an internal political rift that led to the group’s military seizure of the Gaza Strip in 2007. This contributed to a long delay in setting further elections.

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