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Hamas won’t nominate candidate for Palestinian presidential elections

Hamas will not nominate a candidate in the scheduled Palestinian presidential elections, senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouq tells Al-Jazeera.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree ordering the first Palestinian national elections in 15 years in mid-January.

Observers are skeptical that the elections will actually take place, as similar pledges have fallen through before.

The elections — should they come to pass — will happen in three rounds. First, national legislative elections have been set for May 22, a vote for the Palestinian Authority presidency is set for July 31, and elections for the Palestinian National Council on August 31.

Marzouq’s remarks are likely to come as a relief to aging Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who opinion polls indicate would lose in a head-to-head matchup with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right, and then Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, left, speak as they head the first cabinet meeting of the new coalition government at Abbas’ office in Gaza City, March 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File)
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