UN welcomes Palestinian announcement of elections as ‘crucial step’ towards unity

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the decision to hold legislative, presidential and National Council elections in Palestine.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the Presidential decree issued yesterday by President Mahmoud Abbas to hold legislative, presidential and Palestinian National Council elections later this year, beginning in May,” said Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General in a statement.

He added, “The holding of elections in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza will be a crucial step towards Palestinian unity, giving renewed legitimacy to national institutions, including a democratically elected Parliament and Government in Palestine.”

The Secretary-General also calls on the Palestinian authorities to facilitate, strengthen and support women’s political participation throughout the electoral cycle.

“The Secretary-General hopes that the holding of the elections will contribute to restarting a process towards a negotiated two-State solution based on the pre-1967 lines, and in accordance with relevant UN resolutions, bilateral agreements and international law.”

The UN also expressed its support for the Palestinian people “to be able to exercise their democratic rights.”

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said that a legislative, presidential and National Council elections would be held in the coming months, starting with legislative elections on 22 May, as part of a warming of ties between Fatah and Hamas.

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