Palestinian Fateh movement supporters carry portraits of their current leader Mahmud Abbas (R) and his late predecessor Yasser Arafat (L) during a march to mark the 16th anniversary of Arafat's death in the village of Dura, near the West Bank city of Hebron
Fatah supporters carry portraits of Mahmoud Abbas (R) and his late predecessor Yasser Arafat (L) during a march to mark the 16th anniversary of Arafat's death in the village of Dura, near the West Bank city of Hebron
Photo: Gettyimages
Fatah supporters carry portraits of Mahmoud Abbas (R) and his late predecessor Yasser Arafat (L) during a march to mark the 16th anniversary of Arafat's death in the village of Dura, near the West Bank city of Hebron

Palestinians approve 36 groups to run in May election

Aging Palestinian President Abbas' Fatah is facing challenges from dissident factions led by a slew of former allies while Hamas presents a united front ahead of PA polls

AFP |
Published: 04.04.21 , 19:55
Palestinian election officials announced Sunday that 36 candidate lists had been approved to run in legislative elections set for next month, the first in 15 years.
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  • The vote, which precedes a presidential election called for July 31, is part of an effort by the dominant Palestinian movements — Fatah secularists and Hamas Islamists — to boost international support for Palestinian governance.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinian Fateh movement supporters carry portraits of their current leader Mahmud Abbas (R) and his late predecessor Yasser Arafat (L) during a march to mark the 16th anniversary of Arafat's death in the village of Dura, near the West Bank city of Hebron
    Palestinian Fateh movement supporters carry portraits of their current leader Mahmud Abbas (R) and his late predecessor Yasser Arafat (L) during a march to mark the 16th anniversary of Arafat's death in the village of Dura, near the West Bank city of Hebron
    Fatah supporters carry portraits of Mahmoud Abbas (R) and his late predecessor Yasser Arafat (L) during a march to mark the 16th anniversary of Arafat's death in the village of Dura, near the West Bank city of Hebron
    (Photo: Gettyimages)
    Groups had until Wednesday to submit their lists of candidates to contest in the May 22 legislative polls.
    Individual names on each list are due to be published Tuesday, but the Palestinian electoral commission announced on its website that it had approved all 36 applications.
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    Nasser al-Qudwa, a member of the Palestinian Fatah's Central Committee
    Nasser al-Qudwa, a member of the Palestinian Fatah's Central Committee
    Nasser al-Qudwa
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, which controls the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, is contesting the polls, as is Hamas, which has run the jointly Egyptian and Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip since 2007.
    Fatah is facing challenges from dissident factions including the Freedom list, led by a nephew of the late Palestinian icon Yasser Arafat, Nasser al-Qudwa.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    Marwan Barghouti, a popular Palestinian leader, gestures as Israeli police bring him into the District Court for his judgment hearing in Tel Aviv May 20, 2004/
    Marwan Barghouti, a popular Palestinian leader, gestures as Israeli police bring him into the District Court for his judgment hearing in Tel Aviv May 20, 2004/
    Marwan Barghouti gestures as Israeli police bring him in to the Tel Aviv District Court for his judgment hearing in 2004
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Freedom has been endorsed by Marwan Barghouti, a popular leader who is serving multiple life sentences in Israel for organizing deadly terror attacks during the second Palestinian intifada (uprising) from 2000-2005.
    Abbas's former Gaza security chief, Mohammed Dahlan, who is currently in exile in Abu Dhabi, is also backing a list of challengers.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    Former Gaza security chief Mohammed Dahlan
    Former Gaza security chief Mohammed Dahlan
    Former Gaza security chief Mohammed Dahlan
    (Photo: AP)
    Former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, an ex-World Bank official with a track record of fighting corruption, is supporting another.
    While Fatah and Hamas have reached an agreement for voting to take place in the West Bank and Gaza, the ability of Palestinians in East Jerusalem to vote remains uncertain.
    Israel bans all Palestinian political activity in Jerusalem, but Palestinian leaders insist voting be held in the city's east, which they claim as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
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