RAMALLAH, West Bank – The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has called for municipal elections to be held October 8, but it is unclear whether the Islamic militant group Hamas will participate.
The authority, headed by Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas, announced the election date Tuesday. Hamas, which boycotted the last elections in 2012, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Palestinians last held a general election in 2006, when Hamas won a majority in parliament. Failed attempts by Hamas and Abbas' Fatah party to share power led to violence that resulted in Hamas taking over Gaza the following year. Repeated reconciliation attempts since then have failed.
If Hamas were to participate, the elections would be seen as a referendum on Abbas, who has been in power since 2005.