The objection of the younger members of the ruling Fatah party to a proposed official list of candidates presented by PA chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas has culminated in deep divisions between the old guard and the younger generation of the movement, most of who are affiliated with the party’s military wing, the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.
Barghouti, who is favored by the new guard to lead the list, intends to file an independent list of candidates from his prison cell should Abbas’ proposed list due Wednesday evening fail to appease him.
The Tanzim leader is serving five life terms for his direct involvement in deadly terror attacks against Israel.
One of Abbas’ top advisors visited Barghouti Tuesday night and presented him with a blueprint of the official list of party candidates for parliament.
Sources in the Palestinian Authority told Ynet that Barghouti was dissatisfied with the proposal and threatened to split the party if Abbas refuses to place him as the top name on the list.
Barghouti and his supporters within Fatah have blamed Abbas and the older generation of torpedoing recent primary elections to keep a grip on the movement, as initial results pointed to an alarming Barghouti popularity.
Barghouti has also demanded that the new generation be fairly represented on the party’s list for parliament and in government.
Abbas to postpone elections?
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia is the favorite among Fatah Central Committee members to lead the parliamentary list. A compromise according to which Barghouti would lead a Fatah list dominated by members of the old guard has been rebuffed by both sides.
In the wake of increasing tension within Fatah, rumors are circulating that Abbas is inclined to postpone the January 25 elections in a bid to mend fences with Barghouti and his supporters.
Palestinian sources have that Abbas himself is quietly opposed to having Qureia lead the list, arguing that a list of young activists lead by
A member of the young guard told Ynet that Barghouti supporters have already prepared an independent list which would be filed in case Abbas fails to heed their demands should he decide to present the Fatah list by the Wednesday midnight deadline.
“The thought that they can prevent us from expressing ourselves, implement our demands and disrespect the democratic process and the results of primary elections in the faction is not serious,” the member said.
“All depends on Abou Mazen (Abbas). If he decides to follow common sense and the interest of the faction he has to have Barghouti leading the list,” he added.