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Palestinian Presidential election indefinitely postponed

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Palestinian Presidential election indefinitely postponed

Palestinian Presidential election indefinitely postponed
Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/REUTERS

The Palestinian presidential election originally scheduled for today has been indefinitely postponed.

Today’s election, along with the parliamentary election scheduled for May—the first in 15 years—have been indefinitely postponed. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas cited Israeli suppression of Palestinians voters residing in Jerusalem, despite Israel never officially banning Jerusalem Palestinians from voting.

The maneuver is likely a play for Abbas to buy time before facing a reelection campaign, particularly to help solidify support that has been rapidly deteriorating because of continued violence in the Gaza Strip.

Leadership is changing in the country, with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently stepping down from his post, and Palestinian protestors calling for Abbas resignation. Abbas has yet to fulfill decades old promises of a lasting and sustainable peace for Palestine and Israel, and his postponement of the elections has quashed Palestinian hopes for change.

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In the short-term, international support for a two-state solution will sustain Abbas and a shaky peace in Gaza, but Abbas is unlikely to last long. In the medium-term, without his supporters and with strong political contenders in his opposition, when elections are finally held, new Palestinian leadership is very likely the path forward.

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