White House Cool to Palestinian Elections Proposal

(Forward) The Bush administration has rejected a Palestinian initiative to hold general presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza in January 2005 because of concern that elections would reaffirm the existing leadership, headed by Arafat. The case for holding elections was made last week by Palestinian cabinet member Saeb Erekat in a meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell. Following the meeting, Powell said that although the U.S. supports the principle of elections, according to the Road Map the PA must fight terrorism effectively before elections can be held. American diplomats reportedly told Palestinians that the U.S. will not support elections that are certain to re-empower and legitimate Arafat and that are likely to reenforce Hamas and Islamic Jihad as legitimate political entities. However, the U.S. does support the idea of holding local, municipal elections soon.

2004-07-02 00:00:00

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