May have to postpone elections. Abbas
Photo: AFP
Important step toward Palestinian state. Fayyad
Photo: AP

Fatah may delay PA elections

Due to ongoing internal rifts, Palestinian movement considers postponing local elections next month. 'It is better than being humiliated, receiving a huge blow,' faction member tells Ynet

The Fatah movement is considering filing an appeal with the Elections Committee and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in an effort to postpone the local elections in the Palestinian Authority due to internal disagreement and division within the faction.


The Palestinians consider next month's elections crucial, as they symbolize another important step on the way to building the institutions of the Palestinian state, as President Salam Fayyad described them.


The Fatah hasn’t been able to reach an agreement over the candidates for many of the municipalities and councils, and in many places a list of senior Fatah officials is expected to run against the movement's official list.


The Palestinian Central Committee has failed in their efforts to reconcile the camps, and some fear Fatah's image might significantly be jeopardized over the internal rift.


The Fatah has also failed to ward off pressures mounted by the large local clans. The clans, who have witnessed their influence decline both on the national and governmental levels, consequently held on to the local authorities with all their power. "The clans in Hebron have made it clear that they are not interested in factional elections, but rather in the division of the council according to a clan hierarchy," a Fatah source told Ynet.


"People in the clans told us: 'Fatah, Hamas, we don't care about any of these. We want our own people regardless of their party affiliation," the source said, adding, "No one so far has had the courage to confront the clans, and according to estimations the elections in Hebron will be clan-based and not according to party distribution."


'Hamas will support our opponents'

Another matter that is pushing the Fatah to postpone elections is the fear that Hamas supporters will back Fatah opponents, despite Hamas' official announcement that it will boycott the elections.


"We are concerned that in many places, especially where Fatah is weak and divided, the Hamas will tell its supporters to vote for our opponents, which will ensure Fatah's defeat in the elections," said the source.


In the upcoming hours and days Fatah will consider appeasing angry party members who are threatening to run independently. If this measure does not work, the faction will officially appeal to the elections committee in an effort to postpone elections.


"The Palestinian street will not be happy about delaying the election, but it is better than being humiliated and receiving a huge blow," added the source.


פרסום ראשון: 06.07.10, 15:43
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