Palestinian local elections scheduled to be held in the West Bank in July have been postponed due to divisions in the Fatah party over who would run, Palestinian officials said on Thursday.
Fatah could not agree on a unified list to run in the July 17 election, the officials said, in a sign of the problems faced by a party that once dominated Palestinian politics but has struggled to maintain its stature since Yasser Arafat's death.
Hamas group, who rules the Gaza Strip since 2007 after an election victory in 2006, had already said they would boycott the vote. Abbas is also the leader of Fatah, which was co-founded by Arafat in 1954.
Arafat died in 2004.
"Registration was taken care of but in terms of parties coming up with their slates, it proved too problematic," one official said, referring to the divisions within Fatah.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Ramallah-based Palestinian government on Thursday. The cabinet is led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, but dominated by members of Fatah.
Another official said there was also concern that a low turnout would be seen as a victory for Hamas.
ReutersLast Mod: 11 Haziran 2010, 08:53