Archive for Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Palestinian election campaign begins

January 4, 2006

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— Palestinian candidates held a parade led by an actor in a Mickey Mouse costume, sang about the return of Islam and plastered the streets of the West Bank and Gaza with political posters as they kicked off their election campaign Tuesday.

Hamas leaders insisted the parliamentary vote must take place Jan. 25 despite an Israeli ban on voting in Jerusalem, shooting down Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' suggestion that it be delayed.

"Postponing the election will lead to a vacuum and to a dark future," Ismail Haniyeh, the top Hamas candidate, told reporters in Gaza. "Postponing the election is not the solution."

Abbas said Monday the vote could be delayed if Israel carries out its threat to bar Palestinians from voting in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians seek as the capital of a future state.

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