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Fatah Vote Continues Despite Controversy

The central committee for the supervision of the internal elections in the Palestinian Fatah party decided Monday night to cancel the vote in areas where elections still had not commenced, such as Jerusalem and Hebron.

This decision was taken because of multiple gun battles and burning of cars near the polling stations in the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, officials in Jerusalem, where the elections are due to take place on Tuesday, said they will go on with the vote as scheduled. The same was announced by officials responsible for the vote in Hebron next Friday.

For the first time since its establishment in 1965, the leading Palestinian movement – Fatah – decided a few weeks ago to hold primary elections in order to elect their candidates for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

The vote which has already taken place in West Bank cities such as Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah and Bethlehem, showed significant achievements for the younger generation of Fatah, led by Marwan Barghouthi, who is imprisoned in Israel.

Following the violence in Gaza, PLC Speaker Rawhi Fatouh, who heads the elections committee, decided to cancel the primaries in places where they have not yet been conducted. The Media Line’s analysts suggest that this decision may reflect the fear of the older generation of Fatah of losing their power.

The central committee said the rest of the candidates would be chosen by an appointed committee.

The final decision on the primaries’ results will be taken by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas when he returns from Barcelona.