Imprisoned Palestinian Leader’s Entry Shakes up Planned Vote

SourceAsharq AL-awsat

Marwan Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa, leaves the Palestinian Central Election Commission office after registering her husband’s list for the upcoming parliamentary election in May, in Ramallah on March 31, 2021. (AP) A popular Palestinian leader imprisoned by Israel has registered his own parliamentary list in May elections, his supporters said Wednesday, in a last-minute shakeup that could severely weaken President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and help its militant Hamas rivals. Marwan Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa, registered the list hours before the deadline set by the election commission. Polls indicate it would split the vote for Fatah, potentially paving the way for another major victory by Hamas. That increases the likelihood that Abbas will find a way to call off the first Palestinian elections in 15 years. Barghouti, 61, a former Fatah militant commander, is serving five life sentences in Israel following a 2004 terrorism conviction.

But he remains a popular and charismatic leader, and by breaking with Abbas he could reshape Palestinian politics and more...

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