Fatah member looks at list of candidates 311 (R).
(photo credit: Fadi Arouri / Reuters)
A senior Fatah official warned Thursday that Hamas would once again defeat his
faction if and when new elections are held in the Palestinian
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Nabil Amr, a former Palestinian Authority minister, said
that Fatah leaders have sent a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas (who also heads
Fatah) calling on him to hold a conference to discuss preparations for the
elections, slated for May.
Abbas has announced that he would like to hold
elections on May 4. However, many Palestinians are skeptical that he would be
able to hold the vote, largely due to the ongoing dispute between Hamas and
Fatah has come under criticism for failing to draw conclusions
from its defeat to Hamas in the 2006 parliamentary election.
Hamas victory, Fatah has failed to come up with a new list of
Moreover, internal squabbling between Fatah’s young guard and
veteran leaders continues to undermine the faction’s credibility in the eyes of
Last week, Amr and several Fatah leaders held
consultations in Jordan to discuss ways of avoiding another electoral defeat to
Hamas, as was the case in the last parliamentary vote.
“Yes, we are
concerned,” Amr said in an interview with the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi
newspaper. “Unless the situation in Fatah changes, what happened in the past
could occur once again.”
He pointed out that Fatah had lost not only in
the parliamentary election, but also in elections for local councils and some
Amr said that an “overwhelming majority” in Fatah believes
there’s a need for changes in the faction.
He revealed that several top
Fatah representatives have appealed to Abbas to hold an emergency conference to
“reorganize the internal affairs of Fatah.”
Amr said there was also
growing concern that many disillusioned Fatah members would not vote in favor of
their faction in the next elections.
He also expressed concern over the
“negative attitudes” voiced by many Palestinians towards the PA
Referring to the current Israeli-Palestinian talks in Amman,
the top Fatah official said that many Palestinians feel that the PA leadership
has not been sincere about its true intentions.
He pointed out that in
the eyes of many Palestinians, their leaders have abandoned their demand for a
cessation of settlement construction as a prerequisite for returning to the
negotiating table with Israel.