Imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti has submitted an independent list for Palestinian legislative elections in May, according to The New Arab’s Arabic-language site.
The development is the latest sign of turmoil raging in the Fatah camp ahead of Palestinians’ first legislative and parliamentary elections since 2005.
Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison on ‘terrorism’ charges dating back to the Second Intifada, has informed his family and relatives of his intention to submit an independent list for the parliamentary election, sources told The New Arab.
Marwan Barghouti to submit list for Palestinian parliamentary elections in prelude to a presidential run "a major shake-up" https://t.co/19ucht98rP
— annie fofani🇵🇸 (@anniefofani) March 30, 2021
The deadline to submit candidate lists to the Palestinian Central Election Committee is Wednesday.
It still unclear whether Barghouti will himself run for presidential elections on May 31, but various opinion polls have him beating rival Mahmoud Abbas decisively.
Fatah has tried to lure the revolutionary-spirited Barghouti back to the party’s core in recent months. In February, Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Hussien Al-Sheikh visited the imprisoned leader in prison in a bid to dissuade him from challenging Abbas in either presidential or parliamentary elections.
Senior Fatah officials have in the past threatened to expel any member of the faction who runs on a separate list. It is unlikely this will happen to Barghouti, who enjoys hero status among the Palestinian public.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) March 30, 2021
He could instead be offered some sort of representation in Fatah’s own list, according to party officials who spoke to Haaretz.
Early this month, Abbas stripped a senior Fatah official after he announced he would run on his own electoral list.
Nasser al-Kidwa, the 67-year-old nephew of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, had announced he would form his own list consisting of independents, business people and youth.
Al-Kidwa also reportedly held talks with Barghouti, whose endorsement he failed to achieve.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)