The Gaza Post
A prominent exiled opponent to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that president Abbas shouldn’t race again in any new Palestinian elections.
Mohammad Dahlan, leader of Democratic Reform in Abbas Fatah Party said in an emailed press statement that he stressed on the urgent and essential need for holding the general elections “in order to reconstruct our national Palestinian institutions.”
“Therefore, the re-nomination of Mahmoud Abbas for new presidential elections is aimed at consolidating the status quo, rooting the state of submission to Israeli requirements and perpetuating and managing the internal division,” said Dahlan.
Last week, President Abbas has commissioned the Palestinian Central Elections Commission to start preparing for holding the legislative elections only and then after a few months, presidential elections will be held in the Palestinian territories.
Abbas's decision to only hold the legislative, parliamentary elections, contradicts with Islamic Hamas movement’s position, which wants presidential and parliamentary elections to be held on the same day.
Earlier on Tuesday, Hussein al-Sheikh, member of Fatah Central Committee said in a press statement that after the Central Elections Commission finishes consultations, President Abbas will set up a date for holding the legislative elections.
Al-Sheikh went on saying that “and then, another date for holding the presidential elections will be set up,” adding that “there is a consensus in Fatah Party to nominate President Mahmoud Abbas to race in the upcoming presidential elections.”
“Abbas and few people around him try to dedicate this reality for a long term, which we do not accept at all, and will not accept to have another experience with someone who repeats failures in political, administrative and financial performance,” said Dahlan.
He added that “the Palestinian national action needs a comprehensive review and profound changes that qualify the reconstruction of national institutions in a way that suits our people and the magnitude of the risks to our just cause.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Ishtaye said earlier on Wednesday that holding general elections in the Palestinian territories “is facing two major challenges; the Gaza Strip and in east Jerusalem.”
Islamic Hamas movement has been ruling the Gaza Strip since the summer of 2007, when it had violently taken over the coastal enclave and routed the security forces of Abbas. Efforts to end the internal division between the two sides have so far failed.
The Palestinian officials still have deep concerns that Hamas would prevent holding the legislative elections in the Gaza Strip and Israel would prevent holding it in east Jerusalem.
“Holding the general elections in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem are so important in order to bring back the atmosphere of democracy in Palestine,” said Ishtaye in a press statement.
The last legislative elections were held in the Palestinian territories in January 2006, where Hamas movement won an overwhelming majority, and ousted its rival Fatah after dominating the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) for ten years.
Abbas, 84 years old, was elected as the chief of the Palestinian Authority in the presidential elections held in the Palestinian territories in January 2005, where he succeeded late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died in November 2004.
“Re-nominating Abbas in this age and in such health condition does not qualify him to perform presidential tasks in the coming years,” Dahlan said, adding that “Fatah is not infertile, and that, through democratic means, can choose a new leadership for all these dangerous and heavy tasks.”