Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is interested in competing in the
upcoming elections for chairman of the movement’s political bureau, Adnkronos International reported on Friday.
The political bureau is the key decision-making body and the highest authority in Hamas.Haniyeh's recent visits
to Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey were organized as part a campaign
to acquaint the countries' leaders with the Hamas prime minister, the
report explained, adding that trips to Qatar, Bahrain and Iran have been
planned as well.RELATED:'Hamas will defeat Fatah in May elections''Haniyeh, Abbas to meet over wavering unity deal'
Hamas confirmed Tuesday that Damascus-based leader Mashaal, will not present his candidacy
in the next election. The Damascus-based leader’s decision not to seek reelection came as a surprise to some Hamas officials.
official said Mashaal had apparently decided to step down following
sharp differences with the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip over the
movement’s future strategy.
Mashaal’s successor will be elected in a secret vote in the coming
weeks, a source close to Hamas said. According to the source, hundreds
of Hamas members in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israeli prisons and a
number of Arab countries will cast their ballots.
The source predicted that Haniyeh and Mashaal’s deputy, Musa Abu Marzouk, would be the leading candidates.Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.