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Palestinian elections postponed

Ramallah (West Bank), Dec. 22 (Reuters): A Palestinian general election scheduled for January has been postponed indefinitely because of Israel’s reoccupation of West Bank cities, a Palestinian minister said today.

“Due to the Israeli reoccupation, obstruction and closures, it is impossible to convene the election on January 20,” the minister, Saeb Erekat, said after a Palestinian Cabinet meeting. A Cabinet statement said elections “would be held immediately after occupation forces pull back” to positions held before a Palestinian uprising for statehood erupted in September 2000.

The first and only Palestinian polls were held in 1996.

President Yasser Arafat issued a presidential decree in September calling for election after coming under pressure from the US, and the European Union and his own people for an overhaul of his Palestinian Authority.

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