Palestinian local vote pushed back

By Jennifer Lipman, May 17, 2011

The Palestinian municipal elections will not take place for another six months after President Mahmoud Abbas delayed them to ensure participation from Hamas.

In February Mr Abbas announced that the local vote, the first in six years, would be held on July 9.

At the time a Fatah spokesman said the elections would take place even if Hamas blocked them in the Gaza Strip.

But in the light of last month's Hamas-Fatah unity government agreement, Mr Abbas said today they would be rescheduled "to provide the proper atmosphere to hold the elections in the entire Palestinian territories".

Last updated: 2:15pm, May 17 2011