Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is Fatah’s only candidate in the
presidential elections, slated for May 2012, a senior Fatah official said
The official said that most Fatah leaders in the West Bank have
appealed to Abbas to run for another term.
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“We don’t have anyone better
than President Abbas,” the official told The Jerusalem Post
. “He’s the only one
who could defeat Hamas.”
Abbas, whose term in office expired in January
2009, has declared in the past that he does not plan to seek
But in recent weeks Fatah’s two important bodies, the
Central Committee and Revolutionary Council, have asked Abbas to run in the next
election as the faction’s sole candidate.
Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah
representatives are scheduled to hold talks in Cairo Sunday to discuss the
implementation of the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation agreement between the two
The two sides will also discuss plans to hold presidential and
parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip next
Sunday’s meeting is designed to pave the way for a gathering of
leaders of several Palestinian groups that support putting an end to the
Hamas-Fatah power struggle.
The Fatah delegation is headed by Azzam
al-Ahmed, while Hamas’s team is led by Musa Abu Marzouk.
Sources close to
the two sides said they did not expect any progress on the formation of a
Palestinian unity government. However, the two parties are expected to
reach understandings on other issues such as elections and reconstructing the
PLO and the Palestinian security forces.
The meeting comes one month
after the summit between Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in the Egyptian
The two agreed last month
to “open a new page” in their
relations and work toward the establishment of the reconciliation accord that
was announced last May.
Since the summit, Hamas and Fatah have traded
allegations over the continued arrests of their supporters in the West Bank and
On the eve of the Cairo talks, the Fatah Central Committee,
whose members met in Ramallah Saturday, announced that reconciliation with Hamas
was its “strategic option.”