Sources within Fateh movement reported that an agreement has been reached between Fateh and its breakaway Future Faction in order to run in a unified list in the upcoming Legislative Elections.
The list which will be announced in the coming hours is headed by the jailed legislator and Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi.
The agreement ends a political storm in Fateh movement and a crisis which gave Hamas movement victory in most of the Palestinian areas during the municipal elections.
A source speaking from the condition of anonymity said that an appeal was submitted to the High Court in order to issue a ruling which binds the Central Elections Committee to extend the period specified for registration, in order to enable Fateh to withdrew the two separate lists and submit a new unified one.
Besides Barghouthi, 41 other candidates are on the relative representation list, all of them are members of Fateh’s young generation who achieved a clear victory in the Fateh primaries three weeks ago.
Senior leaders of the movement such as the resigned Prime Minister, Ahmad Quire, head of the Legislative Council, Rawhi Fattouh, and Hakam Bal’awy, were excluded from the relative representation list, and were included in the districts list.
Also, Fateh figures which were included in the list of Marwan Barghouthi are also included in the unified list. The leaders are Mohammad Dahlan, Jebril Rajoub, Ahmad Ghneim, and Qaddoura Fares.
Legislative council member Nabil Amr is included as a candidate in Hebron district.
Relative representation lists did not include any current legislators since they were included in the movements’ lists each in his area.
The candidates list was officially approved by the Fateh Central Committee last night during a meeting in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah.
Meanwhile, Hamas and 10 other Palestinian factions told Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, on Thursday that he should avoid any further delay to the legislative elections, even if Israel bans voting in East Jerusalem.
The move comes less than ten days after Abbas said that the P.A might have to reexamine the elections date after Israel announced that it will bar residents of East Jerusalem from practicing their voting tights.
Israel said that this decision was made after Hamas announced its participation in the elections.
Israeli online daily Haaretz reported that the Israeli refusal to allow East Jerusalem’s Palestinians to vote on January 25, 2006, has drawn several Palestinian officials to call for postponing the elections, while Hamas, which showed significant presence in the municipal elections strongly objects any delay.
Several Palestinian factions, including Fateh and Hamas, said that Abbas should win international pressure on Israel to ensure that residents of East Jerusalem are allowed to vote.
Fateh, Future are close to reaching a compromise
Saed Bannoura-IMEMC & Agencies, 12:06
Fateh and its breakaway Future factions are close to achieving a reunification deal regarding the upcoming legislative elections, a Palestinian source reported on Thursday.
The Al Hayat Al Jadeeda newspaper reported on Thursday that the Future party, which is led by the jailed Fateh leader, Marwan Barghouthi, who was sentenced by an Israeli court to five life-terms, has agreed to rejoin Fateh.
According to the potential agreement, Barghouthi would head the Fateh list and his allies will also be incorporate.
The reunification of Fateh is expected to achieve positive results for the movement especially since it showed poor presence in front of Hamas candidates in Municipal elections in the Palestinian territories.
According to a report publish by the Israeli Radio; more than 40% of the Palestinians plan to vote for Hamas in the upcoming Legislative Elections.
According to a Palestinian research institute poll of 2,500 West Bank residents, only 20 percent of respondents said they would vote Fateh party.
The polled residents said that they are leaning towards Hamas as a result of the recent split in Fateh party, yet it is not clear to what extent would Fateh percentage improve if it is reunited.
The sample of the poll is from the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Qalqilia, and Al Birereh.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said on Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority (P.A) would have to reexamine holding next month’s election after Israel’s announcement it would bar East Jerusalem residents from voting.
Abbas told reporters in Ramallah that the Israeli position of barring Hamas from participating in the elections, and the threats to close the Palestinian areas if Hamas participates, has created a dangerous situation which should be examined by the P.A.
Also, Palestinian Information Minister, Nabil Shaath, said the PA would not agree to elections without voters from East Jerusalem, since Jerusalem is part of the occupied territories since 1967.
Yet, sources in Fateh, especially the movement’s New Guard, said that they are convinced that Abbas must adhere to holding the elections on January, 25, 2006.
Meanwhile, a European diplomat said that the objection of the U.S and E.U to the participation of Hamas in the election strengthens the movement as it is portrayed as the “threatened national-patriotic movement”.
Osama Hamdan, a senior official of Hamas in Beirut, said on Wednesday, that if Israel prevents voting in Jerusalem, Jerusalem candidates can be appointed in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).
A senior Fateh member said in response to the statements of Hamdan that he objects to the principle since giving in to Israel on the vote in Jerusalem means renouncing the Palestinian position which considers East Jerusalem as party of the occupied territories since 1967.
On Wednesday, seventy U.S. senators called on President George W. Bush to make it clear to Palestinian leaders, Hamas and other Palestinians groups, that the United States insists on the disarmament of all armed factions before the elections.
The senators sent a letter to Bush and asked him to reconsider the relations with the P.A if Hamas (or such groups) were brought to power.
The letter came after the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution last week that urged for the exclusion of Hamas from the Jan. 25 parliamentary ballot.
The House resolution said Hamas’ participation could undermine the ability of the United States to provide assistance to the Palestinian Authority.