RealNews

Fatah Arrayed Against Candidacy of Jailed Palestinian

Senior Palestinian figures in the main political group, Fatah, closed ranks on Thursday against the on-again off-again presidential candidacy of the popular Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison. The old guard was joined by some prominent younger Fatah militants of Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, who once saw Mr. Barghouti, 45, as their leader, but now criticize him for putting himself above Palestinian unity. His decision on Wednesday to revive a candidacy he had forsworn threatens to split Fatah, which unanimously nominated Mahmoud Abbas, 69, for the Palestinian Authority presidency. Mr. Abbas has already succeeded Yasir Arafat as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The criticism was joined by senior Israeli officials and by the president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak. Full Story

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