Mahmoud Abbas, who was to leave office in a month, will remain the Palestinian president. The Palestinian Liberation Organization indefinitely extended his term to avoid a constitutional crisis after elections planned for late January were delayed.

Hamas criticized the move as undemocratic, but Palestinian election officials accused Hamas of standing in the way of next year’s election preparations. –JCL

The New York Times:

A few weeks ago, Mr. Abbas issued a decree for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held on Jan. 24. But Palestinian election officials subsequently said the voting could not be held because Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza, would not allow them to begin preparations for the elections there.

Neither Mr. Abbas nor the P.L.O.’s Central Council, which met on Tuesday and Wednesday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, has announced a new date for elections. The council’s decision also extends the term of the Palestinian Authority’s parliament, although it is not functioning now because of the split between Fatah and Hamas.

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