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Palestinian Municipal Elections Three Weeks Away; 72% Plan to Vote

A new poll indicates that 72% of Palestinians plan to vote in the municipal elections scheduled for October 20th. The vote will be the first one since Hamas out-dueled Fatah in 2006 and set the stage for the Fatah-Hamas bifurcation that continues to be a major obstacle to statehood according to many Palestinian analysts. The vote has been delayed more than once due to Hamas’ refusal to allow the registration process to go forward in the Gaza Strip, which it controls. The poll by the Arab World for Research and Development shows that 88% of Fatah-aligned Palestinians plan to vote while only 54% of Hamas loyalists will cast ballots. Elections on the municipal level have not been held since 2004-2005.