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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hamas candidates claim victory in elections

From the sounds of this, it appears that Fatah may have carried the 'popular vote,' whatever that means, but that Hamas will have a majority in the new 'Palestinian parliament.'

Hamas candidates claim victory in elections

Hamas' top candidates on Thursday claimed the group won a majority of seats in Palestinian legislative elections, despite exit polls showing the Islamic group finishing second to the ruling Fatah Party.

Ismail Hania and Mahmoud Zahar issued statements saying Hamas won "about 70 seats," enough for a majority in the 132-seat parliament.

Officials in the ruling Fatah Party concurred Thursday that Hamas captured a majority of seats, shortly after the terrorist group claimed victory.

The Fatah officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they expected Hamas to win about 70 seats, which would give the Islamists a majority in the 132-seat parliament. They spoke on condition of anonymity because counting in some districts was continuing.

Palestinian officials delayed the release of official results until the end of the day.

Results, initially scheduled to be announced at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT), will now be released at 7 p.m. (1700 GMT), the Palestinian Central Election Commission said. It gave no reason for the delay. [I think it's obvious why they're 'delaying.' CiJ]


US President George W. Bush said Thursday he would not negotiate with Hamas until the terror group renounces its desire to destroy Israel.

In an interview to the Wall street Journal Bush said that a political party must support peace, and must act peacefully.

A State Department official said Wednesday that Hamas was a terror organization and that whoever denies Israel's right to exist cannot participate in a Palestinian government.

Update (11:00 AM): al-AP is now reporting that the Palestinian Cabinet submitted their resignations following the apparent Hamas victory in legislative elections, Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia's office said, setting the stage for the Islamic group to lead a new Palestinian government.


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