The Palestinian government on Tuesday set July 9 as the date for local elections that had been postponed indefinitely in the West Bank, acting as upheaval rocks Egypt over demands for political reform.
The poll was supposed to have been held last July but disagreement within Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction over who would stand as candidates led to a postponement a month before election day.
In December, a court ruled that the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, must allow the elections to go ahead.
The decision to set an election date was widely seen in the territory as having been prompted by the protests in Egypt for an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-rule.
Palestinian security forces in plain clothes on Saturday dispersed hundreds of protesters in the West bank who were chanting anti-Abbas slogans.
Palestinian government spokesman Ghassan al-Khatib said the cabinet also decreed elections should be held in the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Hamas movement. But the group has said it would not allow a vote there.
Abbas had called legislative and presidential elections for January 2010 but they were postponed after Hamas banned participation in the Gaza Strip. Hamas disputes Abbas's legitimacy and his right to call elections.
ReutersLast Mod: 08 Şubat 2011, 15:17