Palestinians go to polls in West Bank for new mayors, local councils

Palestinians in the West Bank have gone to the polls to elect new mayors and local councils for the first time in the past seven years.

Some 515,000 registered Palestinian voters are eligible to take part in Saturday’s local elections that were boycotted by the resistance movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas, which rules Gaza since 2007, says the political camps must reconcile ahead of any polls.

Nearly 4,700 male and female candidates are vying for 1,000 local council seats.

The results of elections would be announced in all 93 communities on Sunday.

Most of the ruling Fatah candidates are expected to lose in the competition in several towns due to the fact that the party’s renegades are competing against the official Fatah slates. A low turnout would also boost Hamas.

Local elections were last held in the Palestinian lands in 2005.

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