With less than a month to go till the up-coming election, Fatah’s top candidate Marwan Barghouti apologized to the Palestinians for the problems with corruptions within the Palestinian Authority and promises to deal with the issue.

In the statement, which was intended to be published on Sunday but was obtained by the Associated Press a day in advance, Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in Israeli prison accused of involvement in attacks against Israelis, declared:

“We do not hesitate to apologize to the Palestinian people for the mistakes that have been committed in recent years …. and I call upon the Palestinian people to renew their confidence in Fatah and to give Fatah a new opportunity.”

“I promise our people and I commit myself to conduct broad and deep change in the performance of the (Palestinian) Authority and we will present the best we have to the Palestinian people.”

He also made clear that Hamas and Fatah would cooperate as “partners” in a new government, Israeli daily Haaretz reported. This declaration follows a statement by the ‘Quartet’ (USA, European Union, Russia and United Nations) saying that the future Palestinian government “should include no member who has not committed to the principles of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism” as it is a “fundamental contradiction” to the principles for creating a democratic state. Although no organization is named, it is likely Hamas is being referred to, which opinion polls show is likely to do well in the election.

Worth noticing is that the Quartet has not made any similar demands on the Israelis. For instance did the ruling Likud party win the election in 2004 with campaign promises that it would not allow an establishment of a Palestinians state west of the Jordan river, and that it would “strengthen and develop” the Jewish communities in the West Bank and Gaza (a promise they did not fully fulfill).