Egypt raises possibility of new Palestinian election

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CAIRO: President Hosni Mubarak raised the possibility of a snap Palestinian election to overcome a deepening crisis since Hamas rise to power, according to remarks published Thursday. Palestinian efforts could lead to early elections of the Palestinian Legislative Council to overcome the crisis between Fatah and Hamas, Mubarak said in an interview with Al-Usba magazine carried by the state news agency MENA. It quoted Mubarak as saying Egypt has made major efforts toward forming a [Palestinian] national unity government but these efforts have come up against inter-Palestinian differences.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the moderate Fatah party which was routed by the Islamist Hamas in legislative polls in January, on Wednesday gave Hamas two more weeks to accept a moderate political platform. Hamas has refused immense pressure from the West and Abbas for an eventual national unity government to accept a political program that amounts to recognition of Israel and past Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

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