Hamas’ popularity rises ahead of PA elections

Thursday, December 22, 2005 | 
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is being pressured by his own party, Fatah, to postpone the Jan. 25 parliamentary elections for fear that the terrorist group Hamas will walk away with a landslide victory. One poll showed Hamas receiving 40 percent of the vote in the first election the terror group has been allowed to participate in. Fatah would only get 20 percent, according to the poll. Abbas is reluctant to delay the vote without Hamas’ consent. Hamas has insisted that the election be held on time. However, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said there was no chance Abbas would agree. Meanwhile, 70 US senators Wednesday called on President George Bush to make it clear to Palestinian leaders that Hamas and other groups that the United States wants terrorist organizations to disarm or be banned from the upcoming Palestinian elections.

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