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Palestinian election officials resign over poll problems

[JURIST] Forty-six members of the Palestinian election commission [official website] resigned en masse Saturday, claiming that they had been improperly pressured to change procedures in the midst of the January 9th presidential vote. Senior commission officials claimed that campaign and intelligence officials associated with victorious candidate Mahmoud Abbas [BBC profile], sworn in Saturday [Reuters report], were behind the move to coax the commission into extending the vote by two hours [JURIST report]. The extension was almost immediately litigated [JURIST report] by a Palestinian human rights group complaining of problematic voter identification procedures during the extension, but the Palestinian Election Appeals Court ruled against them [JURIST report]. The resignations raised questions about Abbas' overwhelming win, but the officials who resigned today said that the changes did not significantly affect the final tally. AP has more.

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