Five Palestinian factions ally with Fatah in upcoming elections

Five Palestinian factions ally with Fatah in upcoming elections
3 min read
01 March, 2021
The Palestinian Democratic Union, the Palestinian Liberation Front, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, the Arab Liberation Front and the Palestinian Arab Front will ally with Fatah party.
The upcoming elections will be the first in 15 years. [Getty]
Five Palestinian factions announced on Sunday that they will ally themselves with the secular Fatah party for the upcoming Palestinian elections

"Five factions have officially informed us that they are ready to ally with Fatah to contest in the elections in a unified list," said Azzam Al-Ahmad, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, to reporters. 

According to Al-Ahmad, the five factions are the Palestinian Democratic Union, the Palestinian Liberation Front, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, the Arab Liberation Front and the Palestinian Arab Front.

Fatah had previously expressed its readiness to work with and ally itself with all factions, national figures and civil society members. 

No agreement has been made with Hamas, "but we have been ready for a long time, and we hope that this issue will be resolved in a few days", said Al-Ahmad.

"We learned that contact is taking place between factions, to form electoral lists, and we say that it is the right of any citizen, group, or faction, to speak with anyone else, and to form multiple lists according to the amended election system," he added.

In addition to discussion of forming a unified list, Al-Ahmed reported that the issue of Jerusalem and the voting rights of Palestinians living in Jerusalem was of high importance to Fatah.

"The Israeli government should not put any obstacles in the way of holding elections in Jerusalem," said Al-Ahmad, citing an international agreement on the issue.

President Mahmoud Abbas announced that Palestinian elections will be held for the first time in 15 years. 

Legislative elections are to be held on 22 May, followed by presidential elections on 31 July.

"We are optimistic that holding the elections will result in an end to the division," said Al-Ahmad.

Read more: The long and bumpy road to Palestinian elections

Abbas' announcement was followed by Palestinian unity talks between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo at the beginning of February.

Sunday's announcement of a unified list was not welcomed by all members of Fatah. 

Kaddoura Fares, a leader in Fatah and a close ally of Marwan Barghouti, who is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison, announced that he would not run in the upcoming elections. 

In a statement, he described the recent talks as an exercise in the "interest of parties and people over the supreme national interests, as well as regional and international obligations".

The last Palestinian presidential election in 2005 led to the victory of the Fatah's Abbas.

The legislative elections the following year were won in Gaza by his Hamas rivals, a prelude to bloody clashes between the two camps. 

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