Hamas elections in Cairo called off over political tensions

Ahmed Eleiba, Tuesday 19 Mar 2013

Muslim Brotherhood advised Hamas delegation to call off elections for their political bureau, planned to take place in Cairo

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (Photo: Reuters)

Palestinian group Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007, will not hold elections for its political bureau in Cairo, after being asked by Egyptian authorities to wait until existing political tensions in the country diminish.

The movement usually holds its elections every four years in Syria, where its main foreign headquarters are located, but this year had initially planned to hold polls in Cairo.

“There is a desire by Hamas to hold elections in Cairo, as the most adequate place. However, the delegation was advised not to due to current circumstances,” a source from the Muslim Brotherhood who requested anonymity told Ahram Online.

Recently, a number of media outlets have quoted “military sources” accusing members of Al-Qassam Brigades - the armed wing of Hamas - of being behind the attack on Egyptian border guards that took place last August and left 16 guards dead.

Hamas has vehemently denied the accusations.

The source said that the meeting between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas delegation at the Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo's Mokattam on Sunday was not held to discuss the accusations against the movement.

The meeting only dealt with issues related to Hamas, stressed the source.

Khaled Meshaal, current head of the movement's political bureau, has stated that he doesn’t intend to run for the bureau's leadership again.

Several members within the movement are calling for his re-election, with some suggesting the creation of a new post for Meshaal as “a historic leader for the movement.”

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