Gaza: Although the Gaza headquarters of the Central Elections Commission reopened last week, several Palestinian officials expressed doubt over the elections scheduled for May taking place.

Jameel Al Kahldi, head of the commission, said: "We will start the logistic tasks and try to make sure the elections take place on time if all parties agree and if we receive a direct order from President Mahmoud Abbas."

Senior Hamas official Dr Esmail Radwan said "elections can't be held on time as long as there are two governments in the Palestinian territories as the national unity government has not been formed".

He also added: "The Israeli occupation may be another obstacle, but we have to overcome any obstacles that may be preventing holding the elections as soon as possible."

A senior Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip, Abdullah Abu Samhadana, said: "The elections might be delayed for a month or two since the election commission didn't prepare themselves for such an event."

Abu Samhadana added: "I don't believe that the elections can be done without the total agreement of both Fatah and Hamas. The reconciliation agreement was signed a year ago but there are still many files that haven't been finished yet and need further discussion."

Main obstacles

Holding parliamentary and presidential elections were one of the main obstacles to both parties reaching a reconciliation agreement in the past.

However, both Fatah and Hamas parties have agreed to hold elections within a year in their reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo in May 2011.

A senior leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Essam Abu Daga, said: "The scheduled date for the elections in May would be impossible since parties are stalling and the reconciliation agreement had not been implemented."

"Holding elections needs a presidential decree as well as logistical and administrative preparations which are quite impossible as long as the West Bank and Gaza remain divided under rival governments."

Factions also came to an agreement during the reconciliation in Cairo to form an interim government of technocrats in order to oversee preparations for the vote.

The elections are to be held three months from the date of the formation of the interim government which has still not been established.