Widespread boycott drags down turnout in Palestinian elections

Turnout in the Palestinian local elections was about 50 percent, the Central Elections Commission (CEC) said after polls closed on Saturday. The elections were only held in the West Bank because Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, decided to boycott the vote, along with other smaller political factions. The boycott has left the biggest grouping, Fatah, to run almost uncontested in many areas. CEC chairman Hanna Nasser said at a press conference in Ramallah that turnout in the cities was much lower than in the villages.
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