Saeb Erekat wins re-election in Jericho

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 26, 2006 03:41

Saeb Erekat, one of the best-known world faces of the Palestinian Authority, won re-election to parliament in his home town of Jericho, beating back a challenge from a Hamas candidate. But Erekat was not celebrating. He acknowledged that his Fatah Party took a beating at the hands of the voters on Wednesday, and many of his colleagues were defeated. Erekat told The Associated Press that he won two thirds of the vote in the Jordan River Valley oasis town of 30,000, defeating Khaled Rai, 36, who had the backing of the Hamas. Erekat called it "a staggering victory over Hamas and their allies." But he said Fatah must do some soul-searching and revitalize its internal institutions. He said in its 10 years in power, Fatah had failed to deliver in two key areas. "I think above everything else, we promised Palestinians will deliver them toward peace, and today we are still under (Israeli) occupation," he said, "and then, this big motto of corruption and misgovernment that Hamas used very well in its campaign."


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