Abbas Has ‘No Intention’ of Standing in Coming PLO Election

President Mahmoud Abbas told Fatah’s central committee that he has no intention of standing in the the coming elections for the PLO Executive Committee, the secretary-general of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, Amin Maqbul, said Tuesday.

Maqbul told Ma’an: “Abu Mazen said that he wants to give a space for other factions to participate. … We asked him to think again, especially in this hard and serious period, and amid the effort by some people to get rid of him.”

Maqbul did not identify any individuals by name, although he also alleged that a number of Palestinian factions are tying to “complicate” Palestinian political statutes.

The Fatah secretary-general said that although Abbas will quit as head of the PLO, which he has presided over for 10 years, Abbas does not intend to retire from politics and will remain Palestinian president.

Earlier this month Abbas was among 11 other senior officials, including Saeb Erekat and Hanan Ashrawi, to announce their resignation from the PLO Executive Committee — the executive body of the PLO.

It was subsequently announced that the Palestinian National Council — the PLO’s legislative body — would convene in mid-September to elect a new executive committee.

The PNC session is currently scheduled for Sept. 14-15 in Ramallah.

Maqbul said Tuesday that the full list of Fatah candidates would be revealed soon, after consultations were completed.

A separate Palestinian source told Ma’an that Saeb Erekat will also not be standing in the coming election.

In July, Erekat took office as secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee, prompting speculation that he is being lined up to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian president.

Several factions and council members have protested the collective resignation, with some arguing that changes to the national institution were being carried out unilaterally by Fatah.

The last PNC meeting was an emergency meeting held in 2009 to replace six vacant council positions, while the last Executive Committee elections were held in 1996 during a PNC session in Gaza.

(Ma’an)

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