Fearing defeat, Fatah promotes direct elections to presidency

April 21, 2021 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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Fearing defeat in the upcoming elections in the Palestinian Authority (PA) at the end of May, the Fatah Palestinian Prisoners’ Initiative is now proposing to postpone the PA elections, to appoint Marwan Barghouti as vice president, under PA head Mahmoud Abbas, to return Nasser Kidwa to the Fatah leadership and to hold direct elections for president, like in the US.

Gazan people, supporters of the Fatah Movement and its leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), waving flags and placards in a demonstration against US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan and in favor of Mahmoud Abbas’ planned speech in the UN. Gaza, Feb 11, 2020.

Barghouti, former leader of Tanzim, the armed wing of Fatah, was convicted in Israel in May 2004 for his involvement in three terrorist attacks in Israel that killed five people and was sentenced to life in prison.

The initiative is signed by Fatah prisoners, who understand that this is an almost final attempt to “save Fatah from the hands of Abu Mazen [Abbas], who is gambling on the entire jackpot,” as a senior Fatah official described it, elections in which the Fatah is divided between three competing lists.

The prisoners’ initiative followed the failure of an initiative to compile a joint Fatah and Hamas list, which would have prevented a confrontation with Hamas and, in particular, would have prevented a competition of any kind except Abbas, except Barghouti.

Fatah estimates that Hamas is expected to receive at least 45% of the votes in the Judea and Samaria areas.

Meanwhile, Fatah and PA officials hope that Israel’s unequivocal refusal to allow polling stations in eastern Jerusalem will serve as an “ejection chair” for Abbas and will prevent the election in which Hamas will win and take control of Judea and Samaria, as well as the Gaza Strip.

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