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Palestinian Authority plans elections

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Palestinian Authority plans elections
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A senior official says the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas will hold presidential and legislative elections before September.

But political rival Hamas has refused to take part and says it will not recognise the results.

The mandate of Abbas ran out in January 2009 but has been extended until a new vote is held.

A bitter rivalry has emerged between the Western-backed, West Bank-based government of Abbas and Hamas, the Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip.

Previous elections were postponed because the rival groups were unable to come to a deal on reconciliation.

The most recent poll, in January 2006, was won by Hamas.

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