What's behind long-awaited Palestinian polls?

For the first time in more than 15 years, the Palestinians are to hold elections, setting legislative polls for May 22 and a presidential vote on July 31. The dates were published on Friday in a presidential decree by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Why was this decision taken now and what are expectations surrounding the polls? Why now? Abbas’s decree followed renewed unity talks between his secular Fatah party and its longtime rivals, the militant Islamist organisation Hamas. After more than a decade of infighting, Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority (PA) based in the occupied …

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