EU: Palestinian Election Delay 'Deeply Disappointing'

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EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday condemned the decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to delay long-awaited polls.

"The decision to postpone the planned Palestinian elections, including the legislative elections originally scheduled for 22 May, is deeply disappointing," Borrell said in a statement, urging that a "new date for elections should be set without delay.”

Abbas blamed Israel for uncertainty about whether it would allow the legislative election to proceed in Jerusalem as well as in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

The decision came three months after he announced the first national elections for 15 years.

The dispute over Jerusalem was the principal reason cited by Abbas in a speech early Friday following a meeting of Palestinian political factions.

"Facing this difficult situation, we decided to postpone the date of holding legislative elections until the participation of Jerusalem and its people is guaranteed," Abbas said.

It was not immediately clear whether a presidential vote scheduled for July would go ahead.

Source: This news first appeared in the Asharq Al-Awsat

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