The Jerusalem Post
is reporting that the PA has officially decided to postpone the January 20 elections, now saying that it needs three months after an IDF pullback to effect elections.
They've said this before, but the timing is clear both an attempt to influence Israeli elections, in which the chief enemy of Israel has all but endorsed the Labor candidate, and in response to polls shows Labor closing on Likud. The elections were a response to intense US and Israeli pressure. If the PA is postponing them, it's using them as a bargaining chip, and trying to encourage the Israelis to vote for a pull-out so the elections can take place.
It was only re-occupation of the West Bank that allowed internal Palestinian opposition to force the elections in the first place. By mangling not only the Palestinian future, but also throwing away what they had gained, Arafat forfeited his shrinking popularity. Now, with Mitzna promising to return Gaza and part of the West Bank to Palestinian control without an agreement, Arafat hopes he can put off the elections forever.
More proof that a Sharon government is the best thing not only for the Israelis, but also for the Palestinian people.