Palestine invites Islamic body to observe polls

Ramallah: Palestine has extended an official invitation to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to observe the general elections scheduled for May 22, an official statement said.

The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (PCEC) said in the statement that Chairman of the poll body Hanna Nasser handed the official invitation to OIC Representative in Palestine, Ali Safi, reports Xinhua news agency.

The regional observation of the Palestinian elections “is important and will guarantee the election’s results”, Nasser said, urging other regional bodies to monitor the elections, according to the statement.

Nasser said on Sunday that Palestine extended invitations to the European Parliament and the European Union to observe the Palestinian elections.

On January 15, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree setting specific dates for holding the legislative and presidential elections, in addition to a vote for the Palestinian National Council.

Under the decree, legislative elections will be held on May 22, presidential elections on July 31, and the Palestinian National Council elections on August 31.

The last legislative elections were held in the Palestinian territories in late 2006 when the Hamas movement won a majority. Abbas was elected as the president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005.