Palestinian president issues decree calling for legislative elections on May 22

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RAMALLAH, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree on Friday that called for holding the legislative elections in the Palestinian territories on May 22 and the presidential elections on July 31.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Abbas issued a decree that sets May 22 for holding the legislative elections, July 31 for holding the presidential elections, and Aug. 31 for the National Council elections.

According to WAFA, Abbas issued the decree following a meeting held in Ramallah on Friday night with Hana Nasser, chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (PCEC).

The report said that the elections for the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the parliament of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), will be held on Aug. 31 under the PLO's basic law and national understandings.

Abbas called on PCEC and all other state agencies "to launch a democratic election campaign in all Palestinian districts, including East Jerusalem, and to initiate a national dialogue focusing on the mechanisms of this process."

On Monday, Abbas issued a decree that amended the elections law related to holding the general elections in the Palestinian territories. Issuing the decree was part of the preparations for holding the elections.

The move was made after the Islamic Hamas movement addressed a letter to Abbas that agreed upon holding the legislative elections first and then the presidential elections.

The last parliamentary elections were held in the Palestinian territories in late 2006, where the Hamas movement won a majority. In 2005, Abbas was elected as the president of the Palestinian Authority. Enditem

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