Palestinian Authority sets date for first elections since 2006
Ramallah, West Bank - The Palestinian Authority on Friday announced it will hold its first national elections in more than a decade, in the latest of many attempts to end years of infighting between President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement and his Islamist rival Hamas.
The Palestinians' last parliamentary ballot in 2006 resulted in a surprise win by Hamas, widening an internal political rift that led to the group's seizure of the Gaza Strip in 2007 and contributed to a long delay in setting further elections.
The PA, which has limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, will hold legislative elections on May 22 and a presidential vote on June 31, a decree from Abbas's office said.
"The President instructed the election committee and all state apparatuses of the state to launch a democratic election process in all cities of the homeland," the decree said, referring to the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.