"The forgeries in Iran were much smaller than what we had in Palestine," said former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qureia, who was not elected for the Fatah movement's Central Committee in elections this week.
The results were published Wednesday, and in response, Qureia said large question marks hovered over the election process and the counting of the votes.
"Arrangements were made behind the scenes that led to having some of the names pushed aside and other names forced in," he said, alluding to the last minute addition of Palestinian Presidency head Tayeb Abdul Rahim to the 16th spot out of 19 in the Central Committee.
Qureia added, "There was agreement that the vote for the Central Committee's member would take place at one ballot station, and we found out on the day of the election that there were ten ballot stations."
He also alleged that external sources intervened in the election, and mentioned the victory of former security officials - Muhammad Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub, Tawfiq Tirawi - who he called "coordinators with the occupation" and wondered if this was a coincidence.
Qureia said he filed an unofficial appeal, not only against the election results, but also against the entire voting process. "I opposed having the conference in the (Palestinian) territories, but after it was decided to have it in Bethlehem, I worked for its success," said the official who found himself on the out.
"But there was a group that worked to take the movement in a different direction. There will be no harmony within the group that was elected, and Tayeb Abdul-Rahim's entry is shameful. They let someone in, and took someone else out – How does such a thing happen?"
Thursday morning, London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reiterated a Ynet report that Fatah veterans who lost in the election plan on setting up a "Council of Experts". The report defined the new body as "a revival body meant to save Fatah", and it will include Qureia and a number of other officials who found themselves out of the official leadership.
Meanwhile, al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that heads in the movement plan to demand Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad be replaced by a top official who was elected to the Central Committee.
Meanwhile, Fatah sources told Ynet that even if such a demand is made, it will not be executed in the near future. "It all depends on how organized and united we are. If we are organized, they can't deny us this right. Fatah is the force in the West Bank and not the current government," a source said.