Arafat nephew, Barghouti to unite for Palestinian elections: report
Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti and dissident Fatah official Nasser Al-Kidwa have agreed in principle to form a united list to compete in Palestinian parliamentary elections due to be held next May, sources have told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service.
On Tuesday, Barghouti, a prominent former leader from Fatah who has been imprisoned for life by Israel, said that he would be running on an independent list in the upcoming elections, Palestinian sources told The New Arab’s Arabic service.
There is also widespread speculation that Barghouti will run for the Palestinian presidency in July, and polls show that a majority of Palestinians support him as president.
Kidwa, the 67-year-old nephew of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, was expelled from Fatah in early March after he announced that he would form an independent list to take part in the May parliamentary election.
Kidwa and Barghouti have reached a preliminary agreement to submit a united list, to be known as the “Freedom” list for the May parliamentary elections, according to sources who spoke to The New Arab’s Arabic service.
The sources said that Kidwa would be the top name on the list, followed by Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa Barghouti, a well-known Palestinian lawyer.
The list would compete against the Fatah movement’s official list in the elections, which is headed by Mahmoud Al-Aloul.
The development underlines tensions and divisions which came to the surface in the Fatah movement following the announcement of Palestinian elections.
There was growing speculation on Tuesday that Barghouti would be expelled from the Fatah movement over his moves to run against the party’s official list.
However, Munir al-Jaghoub, Fatah’s Head of Mobilization and Organization has denied that Barghouti would be expelled.
“Marwan is a member of [Fatah’s] central committee and a detainee, and there is no way a decision will be taken to expel him. What he is suffering in [Israeli] detention is enough,” Al-Jaghoub told The New Arab’s Arabic service.