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Despite international support, obstacles threaten Palestinian elections

The Palestinian legislative elections face disputes and hurdles that could prevent the vote from being held.

RAMALLAH, West Bank —  It remains unclear whether or not the Palestinian legislative elections, scheduled for May 22, will be held in the Palestinian territories in line with the decree President Mahmoud Abbas issued Jan. 15. Doubts about the success of the elections persist within large population segments.

At the operational level, the Central Elections Commission — an independent commission tasked with organizing and monitoring the elections that was set up by a decree issued by President Yasser Arafat in 2002 — is carrying on with the preparation phases for the electoral process. Phase 1, which consisted of the voter registration process, ended Feb. 17. The commission indicated in a press statement that the total number of voters registered reached nearly 2.622 million, or 93% of the 2.809 million eligible voters, according to the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics. The three-day Phase 2, which includes claims and objections, begins March 1.

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