Palestinian President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2001/09/07/14459.html ' target=_blank>Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday that parliamentary elections would be delayed, a widely expected move the militant Hamas group said stemmed from fears it would do well at the ballot box.
In a public decree, Abbas said he had decided to postpone the July 17 poll to allow time to resolve a dispute over proposed reforms to the voting law.
He gave no new date for the election and said one would be given in a future presidential announcement.
The delay could stoke tensions between Abbas's Fatah faction and Hamas, which had been poised to make a strong showing in its first legislative campaign. Hamas had reacted to earlier hints of a delay by accusing Fatah of maneuvering to cling to power, informs Reuters.
The delay would enable Abbas to take steps to strengthen the ruling Fatah party against &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/hotspots/2001/12/21/24193.html ' target=_blank>Hamas. The Islamic group has emerged as a formidable rival in local Palestinian elections in recent months, indicating a strong performance in the national vote.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club that Russia will never initiate military actions, including with the use of nuclear weapons