'Haniyeh to run for Hamas Political Bureau chair'

Hamas PM campaigning in Arab, Islamic countries ahead of elections for key position, Adnkronos International reports.

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh, Turkish PM  Erdogan_311 (photo credit: Stringer/Reuters)
Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh, Turkish PM Erdogan_311
(photo credit: Stringer/Reuters)
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.
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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.
One 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.