Palestinian Election Officials Approve 36 Candidate Lists
Palestinian election officials approved 36 candidate lists to run in legislative elections scheduled for May 22. The approval of all 36 lists submitted to the Palestinian Central Election Commission was announced on Sunday. The names appearing on the lists are set to be published on Tuesday. The Fatah Party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will be challenged by several splinter groups, including the Freedom list of Nasser al-Qudwa, a former Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, and the nephew of the late Yasir Arafat. The Freedom list is supported by Abbas rival Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences plus 40 years in an Israeli prison for his involvement in several attacks and murders executed in Israel during the second Intifada.
It is still not known whether Palestinians in east Jerusalem will be permitted by Israel to set up polling stations and vote in the upcoming elections.