Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gaza Fatah official says ready for elections

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A top Fatah official in the Gaza Strip says his party is ready for the scheduled elections, in which Palestinians hope to resolve years of internal disunity.

Zakariya al-Agha said Saturday that Fatah hopes Mahmoud Abbas will consider running again for the presidency, despite his repeated statements that he will not seek another term in office.

Fatah is preparing for the vote as the central committee develops a framework for choosing candidates. There will be enough slots to accommodate all members of the party, he said.

He said in a statement that efforts toward reconciliation had been symbolic so far, and called for both sides to swiftly implement what was agreed in May 2011 in Cairo.

Al-Agha also said the issue of Palestinian refugees would top the list of priorities for the party, which is "making efforts at every opportunity to implement Resolution 194 which gives refugees a right to return to their homes."

He also said the PA was working with the Lebanese government and the United Nations to provide a better life for refugees in the country's camps until they are permitted to return home.

For example, the PA is funding higher education for refugees in Lebanon, he said.

Maan News Agency