Abbas amends Palestinian election law after consultations with Palestinian factions: senior official

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RAMALLAH, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas amended the Palestinian election law after consultations with the Palestinian factions, a senior election official said Tuesday.

"Amending the election law is an important step before issuing the presidential decrees related to setting a date for holding the legislative, presidential, and National Council elections," Hisham Kuhail, executive director of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC), told reporters in Ramallah.

On Monday evening, Abbas issued a presidential decree that amends the Palestinian election law on holding the general elections in the Palestinian territories, the official news agency WAFA reported.

According to the amendment, the parliamentary elections will be held first, months before the presidential and the National Council elections, Kuhail said.

The amendment also includes an increase in the quota for women's representation in the Palestinian parliament from 20 percent to 26 percent, he added.

On Saturday, Abbas met with a CEC delegation in Ramallah, where Abbas agreed that he will issue a presidential decree that sets a date for holding the parliamentary elections before Jan. 20.

The last parliamentary elections were held in Palestine in early 2006, where the Islamic Hamas movement won a majority. Abbas was elected in the last presidential elections held in Palestine in early 2005. Enditem

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