After repeated delays, Palestinian legislative elections will be held in January, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (search) announced Tuesday.

Abbas did not give an exact date for the elections, which were originally scheduled to take place on July 17.

Abbas delayed the vote, saying there was not sufficient time for preparations. But the terrorist group Hamas (search), the biggest rival to Abbas' Fatah movement, appeared to have been set for big gains, and many analysts believe the delay was meant to give Fatah more time to shore up its standing with the Palestinian public.