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Palestinians head to polls in first vote since 2006

Published on Oct 19, 2012 9:38 AM

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - Palestinians in the West Bank will head to the polls on Saturday for the first time in nearly seven years, casting their ballots in local elections.

But the long-delayed vote will only be held in the West Bank, with the first stage of voting to take place in 91 of the territory's 353 municipalities.

In another 181 localities, candidates were appointed unopposed, with elections to be held in the remaining areas at a date which has yet to be set, the Central Elections Commission (CEC) said.

The last time the Palestinians went to the polls was in January 2006 for general elections which were decisively won by the Islamist Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, and which is refusing to take part in Saturday's vote.

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