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Hamas Wins Major Victory in Gaza Local Elections

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:28 AM
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Hamas Wins Major Victory in Gaza Local Elections


"Islamic militant group Hamas swept nearly two-thirds of seats in first-ever Gaza Strip council elections, unofficial results showed on Friday, dealing a blow to President Mahmoud Abbas.
Results collated by Reuters for the 118 seats on 10 councils showed that candidates from the Hamas list had won just over 65 percent against nearly 30 percent for Abbas's Fatah movement and its allies. Some seats went to independents."


"The local poll was seen as a key test of support for the Islamists, who boycotted the Jan. 9 presidential election that Abbas won by a landslide on a platform of ending violence in order to allow new statehood talks with Israel.

Hamas, sworn to the Jewish state's destruction, has won many hearts not only for being at the forefront of the fighting but also for charities that help needy Palestinians in the absence of government support.

"It was a competition for the purpose of serving the Palestinian people and creating a better life," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, reacting to the poll results. "We see this as a victory for the Palestinian people."
Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, did not comment immediately on the unofficial results. The electoral commission was due to make an official announcement later on Friday."

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:03 PM
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1. Hamas plays on its welfare credentials in historic elections


"If flags were all it took to win elections, Mohammed Nazeq al-Kafarna would be a shoo-in as mayor tomorrow. The green pennants of Hamas flutter from every lamppost on the road into this town of 25,000. But the faction's mayoral candidate in Beit Hanoun's first council elections knows it is not so simple.

He has to persuade voters still trying to recover from the destruction left by a punitive, month-long Israeli Army incursion to stop Hamas firing its Qassam rockets over the border last July. The tactic he has chosen is to ignore the attacks and play to his strengths.

"People are asking for services to be distributed in an equal way," he says. He has pledged to cut out the "middle men" who ensure that those with connections get benefits, from jobs to building permits. The polite, if determined, university lecturer may be a member of an organisation inter- nationally more associated with suicide-bombing than small-town street politics, but here he talks a lot about street-cleaning, water and sewerage.

The polls in selected Gaza districts have become a pilot for the faction's tentative shift from the military to the political track. "Hamas is not only resistance," says Mr Kafarna. "It is also a social and political movement."

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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:19 PM
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2. Yet another "success" in Sharon's "war on terrorism". n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:47 PM
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3. It's going to be interesting to see the spin on this.
Could rain all over the parade.

The usual hackneyed writing: "Hamas, sworn to the Jewish state's destruction".
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